Migration is widely controversial. Travelling is widely popular. Yet both are means to cross borders...

In 2015, there were 232 million migrants worldwide (including 21,3 million asylum seekers and refugees). That’s 3% of the world population. In the same year, 1,1 billion people, or 15% of the world population, were international travellers, such as international business people and tourists. Both are means of crossing borders in the pursuit to enrich life. However, it is the 3% of migrants who create fear.

But who is a migrant and who is traveller?

Labels are useful to describe the reason/motivation for crossing borders. However, we tend to talk about migration and international travelling as two separate global phenomena where travellers are seen as 'resourceful' and migrants tend to be seen as 'people draining the economy'. Is it that easy? Labels have a profound effect on how we are perceived and ultimately treated as individuals. We see migration and travelling on a spectrum. If you are a refugee or an expat then you are a migrant and if you are a tourist then you are a traveller. But what if you are an international studentwork and holiday travellerlife style migrant, or an au pair. Are you then a migrant or a traveller? Or maybe both?

Migration vs Travelling

Four minute infographic

We explore the double standards in this short animation of the way we stereotype migrants as 'something negative' and travellers as 'something positive', and proposes an idea on how to overcome this prejudice.

Migration vs Travelling is designed by Marit S. Haarr and written by Ingi Mehus. This video was awarded the the Prix de l'EYP 2015, the European Youth Press's award, for the best journalism on media freedom (category video), during the European Youth Media Days 2015 at the European Parliament in Brussels. It was also invited to be continuously screened to EU officials during the Dutch EU Presidency in the Netherlands in 2016. It was recognised by United Nations Alliance of Civilisations in 2018.

Labels should always be used with care - everyone are much more than their migration label.


Learn more by listening to our stories behind the labels

Stories & Labels was co-created with: