Well-being for everyone

It always surprises me how once you learn a new word, you then come across it all over the place; the word was always there but I did not see it. So I wonder what other words and things are there which I may never become aware of. During a recent discussion I was engaged with a group defining what it is to be “happy” and we teased out the notion that happiness is most usefully thought of within the broader concept of ‘well-being’, which has to do with our response and relationship to the rest of creation.

And guess what I am now seeing the term “well-being” in lots of places, one that struck me in particular was strap line development is about human well-being used in a press release by the International Organisation for Migration to advertise their recently published report into migration. The far reaching report published prior to the UN meeting on Migration contributed to the 8 point agenda for action on Migration. Number five is to my mind very important because it recognizes the need to informing public perception of migration as a positive influence on well-being for everyone.

Migration is a political hot potato and lacks leadership in policy development that could avoid the need for the BBC report into the scandalous exploitation of migrant workers in Lincoln. Professor Ian Goldin makes the point that there should be an International Trade Agreements on Migration, though this has upset some because it seems to be treating people as a commodity. At least the issues are being acknowledged and addressed at an international level; in early November the European Migration Network meets to discuss the reality of the 232 million migrants living abroad worldwide.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Joe Howson

    Thanks Margaret for this interesting article on migration – it is one of those issues that will be high on the list of the most important at the next general election. It is interesting to note that the British migrate to others countries is massive numbers, according to the office for national statistics there are about 5.5 million British nationals living in others countries. When the British emigrate to live in Australia, Canada or seek work in Saudi Arabia or other oil rich nations no one seems to make an issue of it. It would seem that it is fine for the Brits to emigrate to other peoples countries. Why does it not work the other way around?

  2. sandra f

    Thank you Margaret for alerting me to this fascinating document! I could lose myself in its charts for many “happy” hours!
    There are too many myths and “folk devils” in this “hot potato” field! They are spiralled by a range of media agents…. nothing like as benign as this UN source. The migration landscape is enormously complex – as any little foray into the rich charts, maps and wordages (is that a word – ’tis now!) of this UN publication will demonstrate!
    It is sobering to think of my own family as merely a bunch of migrants….. Both of our children have “emigrated” – interesting how the letter “e” somehow softens the word “migrated”! And Geoff and I are at the latter stages of our emigration/immigration process. Yet much of the often brutal banter in the press feels as if it has nothing to do with my own family. I believe that is because the banter is biased and focuses upon a particular facet of the migration figures and trends – whilst failing to offer an intensely informed description and comprehensive analysis ….. Not “well-being” but “bad-being”
    More needs to be done to redress this dangerously potent imbalance. Education is key….
    But the role of the UN too needs to be overhauled. Producing these kinds of documents alone is not enough…. That’s leaving migration in a state of not-being….. UN-being!

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