The passport you are born with makes a massive difference to where you can go in this world. The International Business Times:
In the report, produced in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association, Henley & Partners ranked citizens’ visa-free access to other countries as of July 2013 on a 219-point scale. The United States’ total score of 172, for example, means that U.S. passport holders may enter 172 countries and territories without a visa, a marked increase from 2012.Citizens of Denmark, Germany and Luxembourg can also enter 172 countries and territories, though it’s citizens of Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom who, with a score of 173, edge out all others to have the best passports for global travel. Rounding out the top tier are Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands at 171, followed by Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Norway, Portugal and Spain at 170.On the flipside, passport holders of Kosovo (38), Lebanon (38), Sri Lanka (38), Sudan (38), Nepal (37), Eritrea (36), Palestinian Territory (36), Pakistan (32), Somalia (32) and Iraq (31) have the least visa-free travel options among all countries and territories surveyed, save those whose passports were issued in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghani passport holders can only visit 13 percent of the world, or just 28 countries, free of formalities.
Young people are likely to suffer the worst consequences of this form of global inequality. American, EU and Japanese students can pretty much pick up and travel abroad on a whim and little or no money, wandering freely across the world, staying in youth hostels and otherwise gathering experience and having fun. If you are a Pakistani or a Nigerian, not so much.There are good reasons for many of the restrictions that exist, and if rich countries opened their doors to everyone who wanted to come, we’d be swamped. That’s the way of the world and it isn’t going to change soon. But it’s important to remember that necessary as it may be, this “first world privilege” isn’t fair and isn’t right. One of humanity’s goals in the 21st century should be to work to create the kind of world where more people from more countries have the freedom and access that citizens of the first world have today.