Time for a Rethink on the Impact of the Refugee Crisis?

Sanitation has totally gone out the window, there is no official camp here, just a farmers field of sludge and mud Photo by Safwat
Sanitation in refugee camps across Europe
Photo by Safwat

Time for a Rethink on the Impact of the Refugee Crisis?

It’s now been 5yrs since the troubles we are seeing in Syria started, innocent men, women and children fleeing war and terror on two fronts, from their own Government and from ISIS.  We have seen the horrors in the media and press show the horror not only in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan but even on the shores of Europe with dead children washing up on the shores of Lesvos and tensions between refugees and police/military that have lead to riot police using tear gas and rubber bullets at European borders such as the one between Greece & Macedonia.

Half the refugees seeking asylum in Europe are from Syria, the rest comes from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and several countries from Africa…  There are nearly 3million refugees/migrants in Turkey alone and over 1million across Western Europe.  We are in the middle of the largest refugee crisis history has recorded, with excessive levels of violence towards refugees and migrants from both criminal gangs and police.

The lack of positive intervention from the international governments, especially from the EU has lead to the crisis get to a point where things look unsolvable.  The EU-Turkey Agreement has been attacked by Amnesty International and the implementation of turning refugee camps in Greece into Detention Centres has lost support from UNHCR who just after the agreement was implemented stopped ferrying refugee arrivals from the coast of Lesvos to the Detention Centre Moria.

Floods just outside one of the tents Photo by Safwat
Floods just outside one of the tents
Photo by Safwat

To take this crisis on is going to need strong, decisive positive action, the closing of all borders has not stopped refugees getting across Europe, in fact all it has done is push the border crossing of refugees/migrants underground and pushed them more and more into the hands of criminal gangs and people smugglers.  At least when the borders were open, refugees/migrants were being finger printed and registered through each border.  With borders shut and the EU-Turkey Agreement, the refugee journey is changing, we are already seeing fewer attempting the crossing from Turkey to Lesvos and crossing overland from Turkey into Bulgaria and then into Serbia and onto Hungary.  We are also seeing an increase in the most dangerous migration route, across the Mediterranean from Libya to Italy.

Europe is taking the brunt along with neighbouring countries of Syria.  The US foreign policy of the last three decades has helped lead us to the situation we find ourselves in with the Middle East but according to reports, the US will only be taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees in the coming year.  The US has only taken in 1500 Syrians since the beginning of the war in Syria.  Its easy to think from watching the crisis unfold in the media and press that most refugees are heading to Europe, but actually most will be found in neighbouring countries such as Turkey & Lebanon.  These countries have seen their populations hugely increase since the war has escalated in Syria, meanwhile millions more are displaced and suffering inside of Syria.

Especially in Syria, aid organisations such as Red Cross are unable to reach many of the displaced population, front lines constantly change and with the intervention of Russia everything has even more dangerous for the innocents of Syria.

With the refugee crisis not only coming out of the Middle East, but from countries in Africa, government leaders need to start focusing on the most vulnerable and start to send back the economic migrants such as those from Morocco where there is no war, no terrorism.  We can’t deal with the numbers of genuine refugees as it is.

Reported: 3rd May 2016 by Mike Buss.

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