Global Risk Report–Large-Scale Involuntary Immigration (1)


In my previous posts on the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report 2016, I have concentrated on

  • the methodology of the report (corresponding to the Plan Risk Management process of Project Management),
  • the identification of risks (corresponding to the Identify Risks process of Project Management)
  • the qualitative analysis of risks (corresponding to the Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis process of Project Management)
  • the identification of regional risk trends
  • the risks that have gone changed the most since the last Global Risk Report
  • The Paris Agreement as a response to the ailure of global climate mitigation and adaptation
  • The risks Large-Scale Involuntary Immigration

The next topic I want to discuss is another of the highest risks of concern, namely Large-Scale Involuntary Migration.    It is of highest concern because it is seen as the global risk that is most likely to occur during the next 18 months according to the respondents of the Global Risk Perception Survey.    But of even greater significance is that this risk is tied to risks which are to continue to be likely to occur in the longer term over the next 10 years, mainly interstate conflict and state collapse as far as geopolitical risks are concerned, and as far as environmental risks go, water crises linked to climate change.    The number of people who are refugees in 2014 were 59.5 million, compared to 40 million displaced at the time of World War II.    More than half of these refugees are escaping three countries:  Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia.   They are mostly going to Europe, which is why the risk of large-scale involuntary migration is listed as having the highest likelihood in that region.

Here are three factors which exacerbate this risk of large-scale involuntary migration.

  1. People stay in host countries longer–the average duration of displacement was 9 years in the 1980s and has risen to 20 years in the mid-2000s
  2. Global humanitarian assistance infrastructure is not able to effectively response to today’s extent of involuntary migration.
  3. Most migrants move to other developing countries, which are even less equipped to handle them than developed countries.

All of these increase risks in the host and the destination countries.

What are some risk responses to these challenges?

Local business communities need to get involved in:

  • Creating work permits and increasing access to jobs
  • Supplying skills training, most of important of which are skills in communicating in the language of the host and/or destination country
  • Giving access to schools and public health services
  • Helping refugees transition into self-service

These sound like great goals, but the problem is even developed countries are facing an economy of slow growth that provides fewer resources for its own citizens, let alone people from other countries who are seeking to live there.

The next post will go into an overlooked source of risk of involuntary migration, namely the refugees from Myanmar who are relocating to Malaysia on their way to various destinations including the United States.






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