A safe world? With lots of flight? How are both true?

On Point, from wbur radio (broadcast on NPR stations), had a segment yesterday that created a bit of a conflict for me. The story was about migration (of people) and the dangers of migrating through particular parts of the world. On the show, Leonard Doyle, from the International Organization For Migration, described the present time as being in the midst of a boom in migration. The segment starts with the host reading a statistic:

…sixty five million people are now in flight because of war or persecution or terror. It’s considered the largest displacement in human history.”

The guest confirms this to be true, and continues to paint a picture of humans being at a time of mass movement, all because of war or persecution or terror. I don’t doubt that these numbers are true at all, but I have a hard time reconciling them with something I wrote about earlier: that deaths from war, worldwide, are remarkably low these days.

I don’t have an answer for this inconsistency, but, looking at both stories, it appears that people are fleeing their homes at a very high rate (historically), even though combat deaths are markedly low. That makes me think there is some other factor at play. Perhaps it’s the increased communication and awareness of the rest of the world. Perhaps more people see what other cities look like, and are more willing to uproot and try to reach them. I don’t know, but conflicts like these excite me. Maybe I’ll get an answer someday…or I’ll forget all about it by this afternoon.

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