April 2018 marked the 50th anniversary month in the UK of Enoch Powell’s “rivers of blood” speech, widely condemned for its anti-immigrant, racist rhetoric. Time has shown how wrong Powell was; and over the decades Britain has become more, not less, tolerant. The concept of workforce diversity has gained enormous support, due in part to international politics of economic competition, technological progress, increasing emphasis on the importance of human rights; and immigration. The article discusses answers to the question: in the face of this consensus, why are xenophobic arguments (communicated worldwide through mass media) increasingly allowed to foster global climates of fear of, and resistance to, immigrant labour? Answers seem to lie in political and social pressures on governments that constrain them to discriminate against migrants and refugees seeking immigration. Reasons for this are discussed and – since consensus is so strong on the benefits of workforce diversity – possible remedies are suggested.
SOURCE: Elizabeth Christopher. “The International Status of Migrant Workers: Freedom of Movement or Fear of Abuse?.” IGI Global, 2019.
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