Amid global crackdown on refugees
One sixth of world’s people want to flee their home countries
31 December 2018
The world is pulsing with hundreds of millions of people desperate to flee their homes under the weight of the crisis of world capitalism. According to a recent Gallup study, a sixth of the world’s adult population—some 750 million people, not including children—want to flee their home countries to escape war, poverty, conflict and disease.
The statistics expose the devastating impact of decades of imperialist war and corporate exploitation. In the more than quarter-century since the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the ruling classes of the major powers, led by the United States, have unleashed an unprecedented wave of military plunder and social counterrevolution, killing millions and laying waste to broad swaths of the world.
A third of the inhabitants of sub-Saharan Africa want to escape. The region, which is rich in minerals and oil coveted by French, Dutch, Belgian and American corporations, has a life expectancy of 46, while 70 percent of the population lives on less than $2 per day.
In Latin America, 27 percent of people want to leave their home countries to escape the aftermath of US invasion, IMF austerity and US-backed dictatorships.
Twenty-six percent of Eastern Europeans want to flee the near-universal devastation that has followed the privatization of state industries by the Stalinist bureaucrats-turned-oligarchs.
Twenty-four percent of Middle Easterners and North Africans wish to leave in search of shelter from the storm of bombs and missiles that the US has rained down upon the region since the Persian Gulf War.
In 13 countries, nearly half or more of the adult population finds life unbearable.
In Sierra Leone, a country ravaged…