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Designing for Migrants: G09

Design Tech Grade 9 research.

Background Information on Migrant Groups

The terms Chinese diaspora and overseas Chinese refer to people of Chinese descent living outside of China. According to a 2003 estimate (MA 2003), the “Chinese living overseas” include migrants from mainland China and Taiwan and consist of about 33 million people living in 107 countries worldwide. Of this total, the largest populations live in Southeast Asia (76 %), North America (11 %), and Europe (6 %), followed by decreasing numbers in South America, Central America, and the Caribbean; East Asia outside China; Oceania; and Africa. The majority of Chinese who have left China to go overseas have gone as laborers or traders.

New Years lion dance parade on Mott Street in New Yorks Chinatown, 2002. The Cantonese have helped to develop the economies in both their adopted homelands and in China; today they provide 80 percent of overseas investment in their province of Beginning in the 1840s, overpopulation, social disorder, and violence in southern China led large numbers of young Chinese men to flee the hinterlands for these cities, from which they would seek their livelihood and fortune on to the “Southern Seas.” The result was the “pig trade,” in which Chinese shippers and labor brokers based in these coastal ports transported hundreds of thousands of impoverished laborers to Singapore, Penang, Batavia (now Jakarta), Bangkok, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

A second stream of emigration from China was associated with the rise of new European settlements in North America, Australia, New Zealand, and the islands of Polynesia. This period began in the 1840s and ended by the 1890s. Most of these Chinese migrants were from the Pearl River delta region near Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Chinese migration to the Anglophone “New Europes” dates from the late 1840s and 1850s, when gold was discovered in California, Australia, British Columbia in Canada, and New Zealand. This situation led large numbers of Chinese emigrants to leave Hong Kong to seek their fortunes in the gold fields. Others migrated to Hawaii and Tahiti as plantation laborers. By the 1860s, declining yields in the gold fields led migrants to seek work elsewhere as manual laborers, and they played major roles in the inland development of western North America and the building of transcontinental railroads in the United States and Canada. Chinese immigrants also became small retailers and commercial farmers in Australia, the United States, Hawaii, Canada, and New Zealand.

Part of globalization has been the advent of neoliberalism, or market fundamentalism, as a prevailing logic of governance in the governments of these countries. As interpreted in immigration policy, neoliberalism has promoted the idea that “economic migrants” bring globally scarce capital, business skills, and technological knowledge into a country and help advance its “comparative advantage” in the “global competition” for resources for economic growth. Within the circles of political elites in these countries, ethnic Chinese migrants with capital, business skills, and scientific education have come to be seen as particularly attractive “economic migrants.” Following on prior legislation in the 1960s and 1970s (which repealed the exclusionary laws passed between 1880 and 1910 and allowed for family reunification for Chinese migrants), immigration laws since the 1980s have not focused specifically on Chinese as a group, but rather on this category of economic migrants. Taking advantage of these provisions, wealthy Chinese from Taiwan and Southeast Asia have readily attained permanent residency status in the United States, Canada, and Australia. From the perspectives of the non-Chinese majorities, given that many of the recent migrants are also highly educated, they have melded with populations of citizens of Chinese descent (some of whom have lived in these countries for several generations) to form new “model minorities.”

Since the 1980s, in contrast to wealthy and highly educated economic migrants, other Chinese have migrated illegally from China to the United States, Canada, and Australia. These migrants have either been smuggled in or illegally overstayed their visitors’ visas. Indentured to transnational labor brokers working in both China and these countries, they have been forced to find work in the new sweatshops of Los Angeles and New York (where they are highly exploited), or they have sought “off-the-books” jobs as cabbies, factory operatives, and dishwashers in Sydney and Toronto, in order to pay off loans made to them for their passage from China.



"Chinese Diaspora." International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, edited by William A. Darity, Jr., 2nd ed., vol. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2008, pp. 515-519. Gale In Context: World History.

"Chinese Diaspora." Encyclopedia of Race and Racism, edited by John Hartwell Moore, vol. 1, Macmillan Reference USA, 2008, pp. 304-307. Gale In Context: World History.

   China- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)

Chefs challenge idea of 'authentic'; A new generation is mixing Chinese culture with influences from the digital age

The term African diaspora refers to the mass dispersal of African people to the Americas, Europe, and other parts of the world. Although the African diaspora is mainly associated with the dispersal of those Africans who were transplanted against their will through the transatlantic slave trade, it also often includes those who later migrated to other lands of their own accord. As a result of the African diaspora, people of African descent presently live on every inhabited continent. Just as importantly, the African diaspora also contributed significantly to the development of cultural traditions around the world. As the various peoples of Africa found their way into other countries and cultures, the traditions they brought with them greatly influenced cultural development in their new homelands. In the Americas and elsewhere, the African diaspora had a direct impact on everything from religion to music, literature, and politics.


113931180-115395.jpgThe dispersal of people from Africa has played a critical role in the development of civilization from the earliest stages of human evolution. Modern humans first appeared in Africa and slowly spread out across the African continent and around the world over the course of about 1.5 million years. While this movement is typically considered distinct from the modern African diaspora, it is an early precursor to later migrations that clearly demonstrates the importance of African dispersal to the development of modern society.

The African diaspora as it is usually defined began primarily with the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade in the sixteenth century. As European powers established colonies in the Americas, it became necessary to establish trade routes between the new and old worlds. Eventually, a system of triangle trade with slavery at its core developed between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In this system, which became known as the transatlantic slave trade, goods like iron and brandy were shipped to Europe from Africa in exchange for slaves who were then transported to the Americas. In the slave trade's final leg, things like sugar, tobacco, and rum were shipped to Europe from the Americas. Although the transatlantic slave trade was quite beneficial for Europe and the Americas, it brought devastating consequences for many Africans. To meet the Americas' high demand for slave labor, numerous Africans were captured, sold to slave traders, and forced into slavery against their will. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, an estimated twelve to fourteen million Africans were enslaved and sent to the Americas. Most of these enslaved Africans were brought to European colonies in Latin America and the Caribbean. Some were also brought directly to the North American colonies. In any event, it was this dispersal of Africans and African culture into the Americas and other parts of the world that provided the catalyst for the African diaspora.

It is important to note that the term African diaspora has two distinct meanings. Firstly, it is used to refer to the actual dispersal of Africans and African culture throughout the world itself. At the same time, it is also commonly used to describe the people of the African diaspora, including those who migrated voluntarily or involuntarily and their descendants.


The African diaspora has had a tremendous economic, political, and cultural influence in the Americas and around the world. In terms of economics, African diaspora members have done much to boost the financial well-being of both the countries in which they live and their native or ancestral homelands. In addition to being productive members of the societies in which they live and contributing to their countries' domestic economies, many people tied to the African diaspora also support the African countries from which they originated through the payment of special monetary gifts called remittances. Such remittances provide African countries with billions of dollars in economic support every year.

The political contributions of the African diaspora have had a significant transformative effect on the societal development of countries around the world. In the United States, African Americans spent decades fighting for minority civil and political rights. Such efforts eventually afforded African Americans the ability to play a direct role in political decision-making as both voters and government representatives. In many parts of the Caribbean, the African diaspora was essential to the success of the region's various decolonization movements.

rsspencyclopedia-20170119-103-154258.jpgThe African diaspora's cultural contributions have perhaps had the most widespread and profound effect of all on world culture. These contributions encompass everything from music to literature, art, and religion. Musically, the development of several distinct genres is directly attributable to the influence of the African diaspora. In the United States, diaspora musicians were instrumental in the emergence of jazz. In the Caribbean, African diaspora influences led to the creation of musical styles like reggae and calypso. In Brazil, the diaspora inspired the development of samba.

Religion is another major component of the African diaspora's vast cultural influence. The Africans who were forced into slavery and sent to the New World came from many different religious backgrounds. Upon their arrival in the Americas, slaves from different ethnicities and spiritual traditions were mixed together to make it more difficult for them to communicate with one another. This, combined with exposure to Native American and Christian spiritual traditions, led to a blending of religious beliefs and the eventual formation of various diaspora religions. Two of the most notable diaspora religions include voodoo, which developed mainly in Haiti and New Orleans, and Santeria, which developed in Cuba. Both arose through a blending of African vodun beliefs, other traditional African religions, and New World spiritual teachings.


Lasky, Jack. “African Diaspora.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2023. EBSCOhost.

  Transatlantic Slave Trade- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)


Ancestral Footprints: Journeys through the African Diaspora

From the 9th to the 12th cent., Spanish Jewry enjoyed a golden age of literary efflorescence marked by a highly creative interaction86179210-22759.jpg between Jewish and Islamic culture.

The Jews were expelled from England in 1290 and from France in 1306. In 1391, forced conversions began in Spain; in 1492 all remaining Jews were expelled. Many of the exiles perished; others found asylum in the Netherlands and in the Turkish possessions. The German Jews, who experienced periodic explusions throughout the 15th cent., fled to Poland, where, although subject to persecution, they build a thriving culture.

Modern political emancipation of the Jews began with the American and French revolutions. In Germany and Austria emancipation of the Jews was proclaimed after the Revolution of 1848. Simultaneously, the Haskalah encouraged the secularization of Jewish life, and the integration of the Jews into the societies in which they lived. Especially in Western Europe, this led to considerable acculturation, and even assimilation, of Jewish communities. The religious Reform movement advocated a form of Judaism shorn of its national elements and emphasizing ethical content rather than adherence to traditional Jewish law.

In Eastern Europe in the late 1800s, new secular movements arose, particularly after a wave of pogroms in 1881. These movements sought to ameliorate the Jewish condition and establish Jewish life on a new national basis. Zionism advocated the return of the Jews to Palestine. The Zionist movement was formally established in Basel in 1897. During the 19th and early 20th cent., there was a mass migration of Jews westward from Eastern and Central Europe and the Ottoman Empire. During the period 1880 to 1924 some 2.5 million Jews emigrated to the United States, which after 1939 was home to the largest Jewish community in the world. Smaller numbers, under the influence of Zionism, settled in Palestine.

Between 1933, when the Nazis rose to power in Germany, and 1945, when Germany was defeated in World War II, the Jews faced persecution of unprecedented scope and violence; thousands were driven into exile and close to 6 million were systematically slaughtered. After the war, great numbers of Jews sought refuge in Palestine. The Jewish state of Israel was established in 1948 from portions of Palestine, and in succeeding years absorbed many Jews from the Middle East and North Africa. Arab-Jewish relations have been complicated by the hostilities that have resulted in and from the Arab-Israeli Wars of 1956, 1967, 1973, and 1982.


“Jews.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, Mar. 2021, pp. 1–2. EBSCOhost.

   Jewish Diaspora- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)

In Israel, a struggle over Jewish identity and who can call the country home.

The Rohingya diaspora refers to the exodus of ethnic Rohingya people, a mostly Muslim minority, from their traditional homeland in Rakhine state, Myanmar. The Rohingya are frequently persecuted within Myanmar (also known as Burma), and have been denied state recognition and basic civil rights by the government. Military action against the Rohingya people dates back to the 1970s, often justified by Myanmar’s leaders as a response to activity by Rohingya militants. In the 2010s, religious violence and a major military crackdown against the minority group led to a fresh wave of migrants fleeing Myanmar. Significant Rohingya populations have been established in countries such as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and India, but the largest number of refugees have arrived in Bangladesh, often living in harsh conditions in makeshift camps.

As of March 2018, reports continue to circulate of violence against the Rohingya people in Rakhine state in northwestern Myanmar. Eyewitness accounts and independent investigators have noted human rights violations including extrajudicial killings, infanticide, gang rapes, and arson. Representatives of international organizations such as the United Nations (UN) and Amnesty International characterize the ongoing violence as ethnic cleansing or genocide, aimed at fully removing the Rohingya from the country. The Myanmar government denies such allegations, claiming its military action in the region is only in response to attacks by insurgents and that refugees are welcome to return home.

In early 2018 hundreds of thousands of Rohingya were still in refugee camps in Bangladesh. Approximately 120,000 displaced Rohingya remained in internment camps in Myanmar. Hundreds of thousands more lived in diaspora across Southeast Asia and in nations such as Saudi Arabia and the United States.


Romm, Lauren. “Rohingya Diaspora.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2021. EBSCOhost.

   Myanmar- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)

   Rohingyas in Worldmark Encyclopedia of Culture and Daily Life

With a world population of approximately thirty million in 2005, the Kurdish people, or Kurds, make up the largest ethnic group in the world that does not have its own country. In general, the Kurds live in present-day Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, having been denied a state of their own in the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I. Geographically, the area known as Kurdistan (the land of the Kurds) also includes Syria and Armenia, but the population of Kurds is smaller in those countries. Despite being geographically divided, the Kurds continue to be ethnically and linguistically linked. The Kurds do not endorse a single religion, but the majority follow Sunni Islam. They have nevertheless continued to support one another, often becoming involved in wars that further the interests of the various ruling groups as they battle for control in the Middle East.

In Turkey, the Kurds made up 18 per87323071-92901.jpgcent of the total population, as of 2008, but the history of Kurdish discrimination in Turkey has been well documented. The unsigned Treaty of Sèvres (1920) would have granted ethnic groups of the former Ottoman Empire, ruled by the Turks, their own countries and autonomy; however, the Turks rejected it and ultimately signed the Treaty of Lausanne (1923), which did not include that provision. In 1925, the Kurds revolted in the Sheikh Said Rebellion, demanding a voice in government. The Turks responded by crushing the revolt and stationing Turkish troops throughout Kurdish areas. In 1927, the government passed a law that gave the Turks the authority to forcibly relocate Kurds. Subsequent revolts in Ararat in 1930 and Dersim in 1938 were also crushed, resulting in the passage of Law no. 2510, which allowed the government to evacuate any Kurd who refused to speak Turkish or adopt the Turkish culture. According to scholars Robert Hatem and Mark Dohrmann, the contemporary Southeast Anatolian Project claims to improve the standard of living for Kurds but in fact furthers longstanding Turkish goals of urbanization and assimilation, separation of Kurds across international borders, and increased regional military surveillance.

In 1880, in present-day Iran, Shaikh Ubaidullah led a revolt against the Ottoman Empire, inspiring the move toward Kurdish nationalism. The 1925 establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran and the isolation of the Kurds further heightened the trend toward Kurdish nationalism. In 1946, after the end of World War II, the Kurds established the Mahabad Republic, a short-lived independent republic located in northwestern Iran. Kurds make up about 10 percent of the modern Iranian population.

In Iraq, the Kurds make up 15 to 20 percent of the total population. The nationalist movement started there in the 1940s. Nearly three decades later, war between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iran, setting off in-fighting between the chief Kurdish political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The KDP and PUK each fought against Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War. A 1983 ceasefire with Iraq failed, but the two groups subsequently formed an alliance, creating the Kurdistan Front. With assistance from Iran, the alliance attacked Halabjah, forcing Iraqi forces to evacuate the city. The government retaliated with a chemical weapons attack that resulted in the deaths of about five thousand Kurdish civilians, who were buried in mass graves.


Purdy, Elizabeth Rholetter, PhD. “Kurdish People.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2022. EBSCOhost.

   Kurds- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)

   Kurds in Worldmark Encyclopedia of Culture and Daily Life


 Between Countries

 Kurdistan (geo-cultural region)

The Hmong (pronounced hmoNG) are an ethnic people who originally lived in Southeast Asia. Their identity has been molded by persecution and migration. Historically, the Hmong were an ethnic minority in China, where they are known as the Miao. By the 19th century, their way of life was threatened by the dominant Han population. Many Hmong people fled across the Chinese border to present-day Thailand, Southeast Myanmar (Burma), and Laos.

Hmong womanThe Hmong chiefly settled in remote mountainous regions. They eked out a living by farming, raising animals, and hunting. Their communities consisted of extended but small spread out clans. They did not have schools. Children helped their parents in the fields or cared for siblings. Girls learned needlework to help sew the family's clothing. Despite being marginalized and scattered over a wide geographic area, the Hmong people's shared language, beliefs, and cultural practices helped them maintain a strong sense of ethnic identity.

The Hmong's first contact with the West was in the late 1800s. At that time, much of Southeast Asia was under French colonial rule and was known as Indochina. The French recruited Hmong men as guerrilla soldiers to fight the Japanese during World War II (1939–1945). Hmong fighters also fought against Ho Chi Minh, the North Vietnamese leader who sought his country's independence from France in the 1950s. When France gave up its claims to Indochina in 1954, the colony was divided into three countries: Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

The Hmong began immigrating to the United States in 1975. The United States recognized them as refugees because they had lost their homes in Laos after helping the United States fight in the Vietnam War. Waves of Hmong emigrated over the next two decades. A peak year was 1996, when Thailand closed the last of its relocation camps. Thousands of Hmong people had been interned in camps—for years, in some cases. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, about 260,000 Hmong people call the United States home today. They mainly resettled in California and Minnesota.


Guth, Christine. “Refugees of War.” Cobblestone, vol. 41, no. 5, May 2020, pp. 26–28. EBSCOhost.

  Hmong- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)


Romani or Romany (both: rŏm′ənē, rō′–), people known historically in English as Gypsies and their language.

A traditionally nomadic people with particular folkways and a unique language, found on every continent; they are sometimes also called Roma, from the name of a major subgroup. Historically known in English as Gypsies or Gipsies because of an inaccurate idea that the Romani came from a so-called Little Egypt, they are in fact descended from people who emigrated from the Indian subcontinent. Their language is closely related to the languages of NW India; their blood groupings have been found to coincide with those of S Himalayan tribes, and genetic mutations they possess are otherwise found only among Indians and Pakistanis. The Romani worldwide are estimated to number between 10 and 12 million.

In the course of their wanderings, Romanies have occasionally mixed with non-Romani neighbors and have96397369-96323.jpg sometimes settled down, but they have clung tenaciously to their identity and customs. Their physical type has remained largely unaltered; most Romanies are dark-complexioned, short, and lightly built. Their bands are still ruled by elders. The Romani have usually adopted the religion of their country of residence; probably the greater number are Roman Catholic or Orthodox Eastern Christian. Historically, the Romani typically traveled in small caravans and made their living as metalworkers, singers, dancers, musicians, horse dealers, and, later, auto mechanics.

It is believed that they came originally from NW India, which they left for Persia around the 11th cent. A.D. Later they moved northward and westward, and are recorded as first appearing in Western Europe in the 15th cent. Alternately welcomed and persecuted by civil and religious authorities, they moved from country to country until they had spread to every part of Europe by the beginning of the 16th cent. They arrived in North America in the late 1800s.

In modern times, and especially since the beginning of the 20th cent., various nations have attempted to end their nomadic lifestyle by requiring them to register and to go to school and learn trades. Some 500,000 perished in gas chambers and concentration camps during World War II. In 1956 the Soviet Union decreed that the last wandering Romani bands in that country be gradually settled in places of their choice. The countries of E Europe, where the great majority of the Romani live, adopted similar measures under Communist rule, and most eventually found some degree of economic and social protection, if not full acceptance. However, following the fall of Communism in the early 1990s, persecution of the Romani arose once more in E Europe, and by the early 21st cent. most faced increased discrimination and lived in poverty. In 2005 eight E European countries and the World Bank backed a ten-year program intended to improve the socioeconomic status of the Romani.


“Romani.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition, Mar. 2021, p. 1. EBSCOhost.


  Roma- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)

THE GROUND BENEATH OUR FEET: Jake Bowers argues for the rights of travelling peoples to live and move through the landscapes they call home.


Unlike civil wars that result from religious and ethnic divisions within a country, Syria has traditionally had a relatively homogenous society. Of the estimated 18 million people living in Syria as of July 2017, over 90 percent were Arabs, and about 74 percent were Sunni Muslims. The buildup to the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, when rural and small-town Syrians, most of them between the ages of twenty and forty, banded together in peaceful demonstrations to protest denial of rights and widespread political corruption. On July 29, 2011, the protests became violent with the entry of armed rebels calling themselves the Free Syrian Army. These rebels soon gained control of the movement.

Violence intensified with the entry of foreign elements into the war. Russia intervened, sending in forces, planes, and weapons to assist President Bashar al-Assad in reasserting his authority. Arab militants from surrounding countries also flocked to Syria, expressing their goal of advancing jihad, protecting their own interests, or gaining control of Syrian territory at war’s end. Thus, the Syrian Free Army has had to battle not only government forces but also the notorious Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Kurdish militia from Turkey, North Caucasians, Shiʿite fighters from Iraq and Iran, and Lebanese Hezbollah.

The Syrian Civil War and resultant economic sanctions have led to an accelerating economic and humanitarian crisis in Syria that has been characterized by deteriorating infrastructures, a per capita income of less than $3,995 (World Bank estimate, 2016), soaring unemployment rates (estimated at 52.9 percent at the end of 2015), a poverty rate of more than 80 percent, high inflation, and dwindling consumption and production. In December 2017, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that the number of Syrians in need of humanitarian aid had risen to 13.1 million (up from 9.3 million in November 2013) and that over 5.4 million Syrians had fled the country as refugees, while another 6.1 million had been internally displaced. According to the Syrian Center for Policy Research (SCPR), by the end of 2015, an estimated 470,000 people had been killed during the course of the war.

The refugee crisis has continued to mount over the course of the Syrian Civil War. By the end of 2017, 6.1 million Syrians had been forced to flee their homes and remained displaced within Syria, and another 5.4 million had fled the country and were registered with the United Nations as refugees. This influx of Syrian refugees accelerated an ongoing global refugee crisis, particularly in those countries that neighbor Syria. Lebanon, for instance, hosts more than one million Syrian refugees, of whom about 70 percent live below the poverty line (Lebanon has no official refugee camps). Jordan hosts more than 655,000 refugees, of whom only about one-fifth found spots in refugee camps, and approximately 93 percent live below the poverty line. Turkey hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees—3.3 million registered refugees as of December 2017. In countries already facing economic problems, Syrian refugees have strained education, health, and transportation, and social service sectors.


Purdy, Elizabeth Rholetter, PhD. “Syrian Civil War.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2020. EBSCOhost.

   Syria- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)

Since the late twentieth century, Afghanistan has been besieged by a series of wars and invasions. The United States maintained a military presence in Afghanistan after invading the country in October 2001 and overthrowing the Taliban regime.

While attacks on armed forces have resulted in significant numbers of deaths, the toll on civilians has raised international concern. According to Afghanistan Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict Annual Report 2020 published by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in February 2021, civilian deaths caused by the war between 2009 and 2020 exceeded thirty-eight thousand and the number of injuries totaled over seventy-two thousand. The first year of the war that UNAMA began documenting civilian casualties, 2009, had the lowest number of civilian deaths.

In December 2019, the Washington Post obtained over two thousand pages of internal documents related to the U.S. involvement in the Afghan War. The newspaper published evidence that the presidential administrations of Bush, Obama, and Trump as well as military leadership had repeatedly and intentionally misled the public about the war's progress. Referred to as the "Afghanistan Papers," the documents revealed several efforts that produced little benefits while extracting high financial costs, compromising security in the region, and contributing to substantial loss of life. With the withdrawal of foreign troops in 2021, many security experts anticipated the country would descend into violence and warned that the Taliban could regain control over the government. Further, many Afghans who aided coalition forces expressed concern about their personal safety in the absence of foreign military. As many had predicted, the departure of foreign troops in the summer of 2021 allowed the Taliban to once again assume power, setting off a mass exodus and a humanitarian crisis. As of late August, evacuations continued, as people risked their lives to leave Afghanistan.


"Afghanistan." Gale Global Issues Online Collection, Gale, 2021. Gale In Context: Global Issues.

 Afghanistan- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)

rsspencyclopedia-20220301-41-191670.jpgThe 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine refers to Russia’s unprovoked full-scale military attack on Ukraine and its people that began in February 2022. By February 2023 the war remained active, with an unclear number of military casualties. According to the United Nations (UN), by that point the conflict was confirmed to have killed over 7,000 civilians (with the real number likely much higher) and displaced over 14 million Ukrainians, about half of whom were forced to cross into other countries. While Russia maintained a larger military, fierce fighting from Ukraine’s troops and citizens prevented Russia from taking over most of the country, including Kyiv, the capital.

Nations throughout the world condemned the invasion, with many arguing that Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, should be charged with war crimes. Ukrainians and allies asserted that Russian military missiles intentionally targeted civilian infrastructures such as schools and hospitals, although Putin denied this. Russian soldiers also executed Ukrainian citizens, leaving their bodies in the streets in some cases. The laws of war prohibit such actions.

Because Ukraine was not a member of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), it was not automatically entitled to military protection from Western nations. Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, repeatedly asked for his country to join NATO, but his requests were denied, mainly because other nations did not want to engage in a direct military confrontation with Russia, a nuclear power. However, while Western countries avoided sending troops to Ukraine, they provided aid to the country in the form of high-tech weapons and billions of dollars in financial support. Western countries, including the United States, also issued harsh sanctions on Russia and Putin because of the invasion. The conflict had major economic and geopolitical consequences at the global scale.


Kennedy, Adrienne, MA. “2022 Russian Invasion of Ukraine.” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2022. EBSCOhost.


  Ukraine- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)

Our Lives as Refugees

The Venezuelan migrant crisis is a humanitarian emergency in which millions of Venezuelans fled their home country, largely due to economic concerns and widespread food scarcity. By late 2018 the United Nations (UN) estimated that almost 2 million people had been uprooted since the beginning of 2015 and thousands more were leaving the country each day. The UN called the exodus the largest movement of people in the recent history of the region, and noted that it has strained relations among many countries in South America.

At the start of 2019, Venezuela remained gripped by an economic crisis that forced many citizens to seek asylum in other countries. Hyperinflation continued to make basic essentials prohibitively expensive for the majority of people; basic foodstuffs cost as much as three months’ salary in some cases, and stores were often depleted. This trend was expected to continue despite government efforts such as revaluation of the national currency. In October 2018, for example, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projected that Venezuela’s inflation rate would grow to 10 million percent in 2019.

The widespread food shortages have led to severe malnourishment nationwide, with more than three-quarters of Venezuelans estimated to have lost more than 24 pounds (11 kilograms) in body weight on average. By late 2018, neighboring countries began to clamp down on requirements for entry as the crisis continued. The Venezuelan regime, meanwhile, continued to publicly deny that mass migration was occurring. Officials claimed that photos of refugees were staged by political opponents of the Maduro government who were also responsible for the country’s economic problems.


Miliard, Mike. “Venezuelan Migrant Crisis (2015– ).” Salem Press Encyclopedia, 2021. EBSCOhost.

   Venezuela- lots of general information about history and culture (3 reading levels)


Database Passwords

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Refugee Challenges in Resettlement Countries


Leaving everything behind in one life and beginning another in a different country with different laws, different education and health systems, different languages and different cultural expectations requires a period of adjustment.

For people who seek asylum and refuge, this process is all the more difficult due to the circumstances under which they depart their home country.

Some of the documented challenges faced by people from refugee backgrounds in Australia are:

  • finding affordable housing
  • finding employment
  • language and communication barriers
  • racism and discrimination
  • community attitudes
  • impact of disrupted education on schooling
  • learning English
  • distance and lack of communication with families in the home country and/ or countries of asylum (particularly if/where the family remains in a conflict situation)
  • ongoing mental health issues due to trauma, including survivor guilt
  • financial difficulties
  • visa insecurity (temporary visa holders)
  • separation from family members; living in blended families
  • changes in roles and status of family members.


Young people face particular challenges because of their age and experiences. They carry the scars of war and displacement with them. Sometimes children are forced to flee alone and arrive in Australia as unaccompanied minors.

Although children are very resilient some children experience:

  • physical and psychological effects of trauma
  • language and literacy difficulties due to disrupted or limited prior education
  • issues with identity and belonging
  • changing family responsibilities.


Roads to Refuge by the New South Wales Dept. of Education