And Then They Migrate…

Every day thousands upon thousands risk their lives to reach a richer country than theirs, sometimes by crossing deserts and/or open seas, willing to work but never welcomed.

Why do they do that?

For example, because:

The hidden cost of a precious stone by Chris Spence – IHT, December 26, 2007

ILAKAKA, Madagascar

[…] This city in the arid hinterlands of Madagascar’s Isalo National Park sprouted from nothingness, a kind of Third World Las Vegas.

[…] My second visit was a week later, when two local guides named Jean-Jacques and Roxy proposed a tour of the mines.

[…] Our three escorts were security men, paid to make sure the workers didn’t try to steal stones. I naïvely pointed out that they hardly had a pocket between them to hide a sapphire. Roxy explained that they swallowed them to recover them later in the toilet. Any misplaced gestures toward the head area would be dangerous for these workers. Scratching your chin could bring big trouble. The workers earn about 20,000 ariary a day – about 8 euros.

[…] Malagasy prospectors are often reduced to sinking vertical shafts, sometimes 15 meters deep, down which they lower themselves on a rope. These holes are no larger than a steering wheel and become tombs when they collapse. As Roxy dryly pointed out, this saves families the expense of burial.[…]

And those are the lucky ones: they have a job…