Completing the Make Your Own Passport activity really made me realize how privileged we are to have belonging to a country and to be able to obtain a passport. Hearing the stories of the stateless people who live their lives without the privileges we get to experience really opened my eyes to the power of passports. I was given Nigeria as my country for the passport which has dealt with constant violence committed by the group Boko Haram. The violence has led to people being tortured and thousands evicted or forced to flee from their homes. The safety that we take for granted at home is not experienced by people in other countries such as Nigeria and those that are stateless.
I decided to conduct some additional research using the Global Passport Power index website listed in the activity. Looking through the website, I found that Nigeria was ranked 83rd in terms of passport power. Passports are ranked based off their total mobility or the number of countries holders have access to. Nigeria’s ranking of 83rd is close to the bottom (Afghanistan has the lowest at 89th), meaning compared to a majority of countries in the world, Nigerian citizens have less opportunities in travel. Looking through the data really made me thankful that I have grown up in a country with a passport that has access to much of the world abroad. Many of those with less privileged passports live in war torn countries and desire an escape, but don’t have the opportunities to leave because of their limited passports. There are also people who don’t even have the privilege of belonging to a country and having a passport. These stateless people cannot experience the benefits of a passport like we can in the United States. It is very important to recognize the great benefit we have of being able to obtain a passport and have the free movement into much of the world.
All data collected from: https://www.passportindex.org/byRank.php