It is the other side of this world that very few people know about!
Today, the world faces a crisis.
The whole world watches silently as thousands of people are displaced from the country they had once proudly called their motherland. Those innocent people have been forcefully drawn into a battle which was never theirs. These people have been subjected to conditions that don’t even qualify as being close to ‘human’. They walk thousands of miles in search of shelter and better prospects of living.
Today, as we speak, thousands are undertaking a treacherous journey across nations from the Middle East, Afghanistan, African countries to Europe. They take a journey fraught with uncertainty and little hope. They are coming in large numbers in Europe every day because they face an imminent threat to their lives back at their own nations.
There are a number of factors that are needed to be understood in order to get a true understanding of the Global Migrant Crisis.
- What is the difference between a Refugee and an Asylum Seeker?
According to USA for UNHCR, “a refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.”
Whereas, USA for UNHCR defines asylum as “the right to be recognized as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance. An asylum seeker must demonstrate that his or her fear of persecution in his or her home country is well-founded.”
- The (ISIS) Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or the ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and Levant):
The ISIS is a result of the power vacuum created after the fall of the Saddam regime due to the US led invasion. The terrorist organization has its strong footholds in major parts of both Iraq and Syria where it has imposed laws which have stripped people of their most fundamental rights. Those in search of better lives and a future to speak of are forced to flee their countries and seek asylum in other nations.
- What are the countries that people are fleeing from?
The following chart gives a statistical representation of the countries that people are fleeing:
- Why are countries wary of taking in migrants?
Well, the most obvious answer to this question would be that rehabilitation of migrants would mean providing them with jobs and housing among other things which would eventually lower the job opportunities for the natives of the other respective countries. One other prominent argument put forth in this regard is the lack of cultural integration of the migrants into the customs and cultures of the asylum providing nations. One is reminded of the incident on New Year’s Eve at Cologne, Germany.
The Economist reported,
“That night, gangs of young men, mainly asylum-seekers, formed rings around women outside Cologne station and then robbed and sexually assaulted them. More than 600 women reported to the police that they had been victimized. After Cologne, when Europeans think of refugees, many no longer picture persecuted families or toddlers. Instead they see menacing young men imbued with the sexism that is all too common across the Middle East and North Africa.”
But having said that, the report does mention that “Migrants are no more likely to commit crimes than natives”
- What are the problems faced by migrants?
Life for those seeking asylum in the European nations are far from comfortable. Asylum seekers have to march for miles from one nation to the other carrying their children and their paltry belongings with them.
Sometimes, the knee jerk reaction by counties adds to the problems of the asylum seekers. For example, Hungary has erected a razor-wire fence along its border with Serbia, to halt an unprecedented flow of refugees seeking entry to the EU. European countries have introduced tough border controls to check the flow of migrants.
Migrants usually embark on treacherous sea journeys across the Mediterranean Sea on shoddy dinghies which are dangerously overcrowded. They are forced to undertake these journeys which are arranged by illegal operators!
This article would definitely fall short of explaining the entire migrant crisis and the plight of migrants. If you are reading this article, chances are that you went to a ‘school’ and received ‘education’, sadly though for the children of migrants these words are nothing but distant dreams. Let us join hands and do our bit for the asylum seekers who were forced to flee their own motherland. For migrants the future seems far from certain, something which we together can change.
Cover image source