11:15 - 12:15
What is behind the new Migrations: A Massive Loss of Habitat

Short thesis

The language of “migrants” and “refugees” is insufficient to cover a new type of migration. They are being expelled from their land and homes by major coporations grabbing land to develop plantations, the sharp expansion in mining due to the demands of the electronic revolution, climate change, the explosion in the building of new, often private, “cities” and office parks.


The expelled are not recognized as refugees because there is no war. But neither are they regular migrants: there is no home to go back to –home is now a plantation, a mine, a lake, a city, a desert. There is no law that recognizes these refuge-seekers. We need to make law that makes those powerful actors responsible for massive new displacements of people.

Saskia Sassen is the author of Expulsions (Harvard University Press), now out in German with Fisher Verlag.