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Crossing Boundaries: Geography at the beginning of the 21st Century Professor Hazel Barrett GA President 2013-14 GA Annual Conference 15th April 2014
GA’s Strategic Plan: Mission • To be the leading subject association for all teachers of Geography. • To provide a trusted voice for Geography in education
So what is Geography? • The purpose of geography is to provide ‘a view of the whole’ earth by mapping the location of places. (Ptolemy, 150CE) • Synthesizing discipline to connect the general with the special through measurement, mapping, and a regional emphasis. (von Humboldt, 1845) • How environment apparently controls human behaviour. (Semple, 1911) • The science concerned with the formulation of the laws governing the spatial distribution of certain features on the surface of the earth. (Schaefer, 1953) • Geography is the study of the earth as the home of people. (Yi-Fu Tuan, 1991)
Geography is the study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live. • Geography is unique in bridging the social sciences (human geography) with the natural sciences (physical geography. (RGS, 2014) • Geography helps us better understand the world’s people, places and environments and its interactions between them. • Geography seeks to understand how different views, values and perspectives influence and affect places and environments at different scales. • It helps explain why places are changing, how they are interconnected and why patterns of inequality exist at both local and global scales. (GA 2014)
Geography: Crossing Boundaries • We research issues that cross physical and human boundaries • We research issues that require an interdisciplinary approach that cross subject boundaries • The methodologies and methods we use in our research are constantly pushing back boundaries
Globally: • 2.45m • of which 1.2m are children • 0.8m cross international borders • 1.65m are internally trafficked • 79% trafficked for sexual exploitation • 18% trafficked for labour exploitation
Under-reporting Forced-bonded labour Domestic servitude Forced marriage Organ removal Ritual killings/mystic practices Begging Warfare
Geographical trends A global problem Victims from East Asia found in widest range of destinations. Victims found in Western and Central Europe came from the widest range of origins.
Scale of the problem: EU • Estimated several thousand victims • 66% are female • 79% of victims subject to sexual exploitation • EU is a destination region.
Scale of the problem: UK (2011) • 2,077 referred victims • 75% were adults • 60% were females • Most common countries of origin: Romania; Slovakia; Nigeria; Poland; Czech Republic; UK • 31% were sexually exploited • 22% suffered labour exploitation • 17% were in domestic servitude
Trafficking of children Scale of the problem: UK (2011) Internal trafficking 99 were UK citizens 80 being female children 52 for sexual exploitation 38 labour exploitation by UK traveller community >250 60% were girls 41% for sexual exploitation 31% for labour exploitation 16% domestic servitude Most common countries of origin: Vietnam; Nigeria; UK.
Who are the Traffickers? • Disproportionate number of females are involved as human traffickers. • Women have a more prominent role in human trafficking than in most other forms of crime. Most trafficking is carried out by people with the same nationality/ethnicity as their victims. • International human trafficking countries of origin correlated with diaspora communities living in country of exploitation
TRANSPORT MEDIA STUDIES DEMOGRAPHY ECONOMICS GEOGRAPHY DEVELOPMENT STUDIES LITERATURE POLITICS CARTOGRAPHY AGRICULTURE HISTORY STATISTICS CULTURAL STUDIES INTERNATIONALSTUDIES
Issues that Require an Interdisciplinary Approach: FGM/C in the UK • FGM/C is defined by WHO as: ‘all procedures involving the partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.’ (WHO, 2008,4)
Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting • FGM/C is a deep-rooted traditional practice that adversely affects the health and well-being of millions of girls and women. • Estimated that 140m girls and women have been subjected to FGM/C globally. • Each year 3m girls are at risk globally. • Practice is concentrated in 29 African and Middle Eastern countries, where 125m girls and women have been cut. • 66% (83m) live in four countries (Egypt: 27.2m; Ethiopia: 23.8m; Nigeria: 19.9m; Sudan: 12.1m)
FGM/C in the EU and UK • EU Parliament believe FGM/C is a serious issue in Member States, such as the UK, with significant numbers of migrants from high prevalence countries. In 2009 EU Parliament estimated 0.5m women and girls in EU had been subjected to FGC. • A further 180,000 girls are at risk. • FGM/C is a criminal offence in most EU states. Many have extra-territoriality clauses.
FGM/C in the UK • Based on 2001 census, estimates published in 2007 suggested that 66,000 women living in the UK have been subjected to FGM/C with 23,000 girls at risk of FGM/C in the UK • Different study (2012) suggested over 98,000 girls under 15 at risk of FGM/C. Over 24,000 at high risk of FGC Type III, a further 9,000 at high risk of FGC Type I and II • Number now likely to be higher as births to women affected by FGM/C has increased from 1.04% in 2001 to 1.67% in 2008.
Why FGM/C is still practised • Continuation of FGC is motivated by a complex mix of interlinked sociocultural factors. • Beliefs associated with religion, hygiene and aesthetics and social acceptance combine to support decision-making in communities in favour of carrying out FGM/C.
Why FGM/C is still practiced • It is a matter of Social Convention. • Individual’s actions are interdependent on the actions of others including family and wider community. • ‘Even when parents recognise that FGM/C can cause serious harm, the practice persists because they fear moral judgements and social sanctions should they decide to break with society’s expectations. Parents often believe that continuing FGM/C is a lesser harm than dealing with these negative repercussions.’ (Unicef, 2010,3)
TRANSPORT MEDIA STUDIES DEMOGRAPHY EPIDEMIOLOGY ART ECONOMICS GEOGRAPHY DEVELOPMENT STUDIES ANTHROPOLOGY LITERATURE POLITICS CARTOGRAPHY HISTORY STATISTICS COMPUTER MODELLING CULTURAL STUDIES INTERNATIONALSTUDIES BEHAVIOURAL PSYCHOLOGY
Pushing Back on Methodological Boundaries: Refugees and Livelihoods in The Gambia Satellite
Casamance Refugees in The Gambia • West Africa’s longest running civil conflict. • Estimated 11,000 Casamance refugees have sought refuge in The Gambia • 1951 Geneva Convention
‘Self Settled’ Refugees • Cannot be put into refugee camps • Therefore are ‘self settled’ • Causes competition for community resources • Causes community ‘conflict’
Refugee and host populations suffer from unpredictable rainfall and environmental degradation caused by climate change • Poverty • Poor education and health
Quantitative methods and data: • Rainfall • Environmental degradation • Resource availability • Poverty • Education and Health status • Mapping • GIS Qualitative methods and information: • Participatory Action Methods • Rapid Rural Appraisal • Participant observation • Ethnography/In-depth narrative studies • Peer to peer • Participatory GIS
TRANSPORT DEMOGRAPHY EPIDEMIOLOGY ECOLOGY ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE ECONOMICS GEOGRAPHY DEVELOPMENT STUDIES RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ANTHROPOLOGY PLANT SCIENCE POLITICS METEOROLOGY URBAN PLANNING CARTOGRAPHY AGRICULTURE HISTORY STATISTICS CULTURAL STUDIES GIS INTERNATIONALSTUDIES
What do these examples have in common? • They are dynamic and changing. • The issues are multi faceted. • Could be studied by one of many disciplines. • But only Geography takes a strong spatial approach with many methodological tools available to it. • These issues require an interdisciplinary spatial approach. • A human/physical geography approach is unhelpful.
TRANSPORT CHEMISTRY MEDIA STUDIES OCEANOGRAPHY DEMOGRAPHY ENERGY STUDIES PHYSICS EPIDEMIOLOGY ECOLOGY ART ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE ECONOMICS GEOGRAPHY GEOLOGY DEVELOPMENT STUDIES RESOURCE MANAGEMENT ANTHROPOLOGY LITERATURE PLANT SCIENCE POLITICS METEOROLOGY URBAN PLANNING CARTOGRAPHY AGRICULTURE HISTORY STATISTICS COMPUTER MODELLING CULTURAL STUDIES GIS INTERNATIONALSTUDIES BEHAVIOURAL PSYCHOLOGY PALAEOCOLOGY
Geography in the 21st Century • Geography is fundamentally interdisciplinary. It is one of the few disciplines that encompass very different ways of knowing, from the natural and social sciences and the humanities. Geographers are therefore uniquely equipped to understand and address critical problems facing the world. Geographers are motivated by issues such as social and environmental justice, and the efficient, equitable and sustainable use of resources. (Institute of Australian Geographers, 2010).
Crossing Boundaries • All the issues we study as geographers involve crossing human and physical boundaries. • Our strength is the way we adopt relevant concepts and methods from other disciplines, and make them our own. • Our biggest weakness is our own internal subject boundary human/physical. • Geography has much to offer. We need to grow in confidence and ensure that our interdisciplinary approach is recognised as a strength, not a weakness.
‘Geography is a subject packed with excitement and dynamism that synthesises aspects of the world and helps us the better understand its people, places and environments and the interactions between them.’ (GA, 2014)