Canada is known as a multicultural nation, and that is obviously due to the amount of immigration and refugees accepted. As a life-long citizen of Canada, who has gone to school with and been friends with many immigrants, I know surprisingly little about the logistics of it all. For this reason I was very excited to be visiting the UN to gain a little bit more background knowledge.
Ecuador is heavily involved in immigration as it acts as the country of origin, destination and of transit between countries. Most immigrants are from Columbia that are arriving in Ecuador, at 98%, and the other two are from 70 other countries. The UN does a lot of interesting work in Ecuador, one concept, that I believe is unique to this country, is the law of human mobility. This states that it is a right of all humans to have the freedom to leave a country and not be sent back if the implications would involve risking your safety or freedom. Unfortunately, these types of laws in human’s rights are more often violated against migrants and seekers of asylum.
As Ecuador has no refugee camps, immigrants are actively brought into communities. I believe that this integration would help the transition into a new culture. I find this similar to Canada as many internationally arriving students are put right into the Canadian educational system, although it can be very difficult for immigrant children to find their place in a new school full of students who don’t fully understand their culture or way of living. This is also seen in the schools we are working at in Quito, with a main focus on children from Columbia. There are many factors that can act to segregate these students, regardless of social norms or language barriers, the base structure of schooling; its curriculum, is often completely different and puts them at different learning levels. The UN does a lot of heavy work in the law and world peace but I found it interesting to learn that they also work on a smaller scale Helping families adjust through the educational system or finding work, shelter and food are part of these goals.
The United Nations is an amazing organization joining the world together to target world peace. As necessary as this is, it is also quite ambitious. The UNHCR was originally meant to last 3 years as they were hoping to end a conflict in that time, its present existence prove that that was not possible and is an example of the complexity in gaining world peace. The UN symbolizes its goals of peace very well within their logo. The olive branches and the colour of blue depict peace, and the view of the countries are the regions that are protected by the United Nations. Overall their goals are in peace and security.
Even though this last section was requested by a certain group leader I'd like to note that it is still completely sincere. soo..
P.s. As we say goodbye to you this weekend, David, I'd like to let you know you are super good at your job. If it wasn't for you none of us would be in Ecuador right now, and I'd like to thank you because I am getting so much out of this trip. From your salsa lessons to charade based debriefs, you're one hell of a leader. See ya around.