European Refugee Crisis
Europe is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II. Conflict and violence in the Gulf Region in general and Syria in particular are the prime causes. Refugees are in millions. Thousands have died and the death toll continues to rise as desperate refugees seek safety. More than 40 lacs people having fled Syria since the war began in 2011. An attempt has been made in this blog to study the European refugee crisis and analyze means to resolve it.
- 62% of the refugees are from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan.
- Bashar al-Assad’s regime has targeted civilians ruthlessly.
- ISIS has subjected Syrians to murder, torture, crucifixion, sexual slavery, and other appalling atrocities.
- Other groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra are torturing and killing Syrians as well.
- Afghanistan: The continuing civil war between Taliban and government forces.
- Eritreans are escaping the repressive government.
- Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan, North East Nigeria are also experiencing civil war.
Modus Operandi of Refugee Influx
There is no organized system for transportation of refugees. Organized multinational people’s trafficker rackets are engaged in making money from this desperate situation of the refugees by transporting them in inhuman conditions via sea and land.
Major Refugee Host Countries
Gulf Countries. Lebanon and Jordan have reached saturation point with the refugees’ influx.
- Lebanon: 11 lacs.
- Jordan: 6.3 lacs.
- Iraq: 2.5 lacs.
- Egypt: 1.3 lacs.
- European Countries
- Turkey: Over19 lacs. Turkey has reached saturation point.
- Germany: Over 8 lacs
- Spain: 2 lacs.
- Greece: 2 lacs
- Hungary: 2 lacs
- Italy:1.25 lacs
- Other European countries are hosting refugees in numbers below one lac.
Response to European Refugee Crisis
- Germany with her financial muscle is a leader in the EU. She has led in humanitarian work as well by hosting the maximum number of refugees. She wants EU nations to accept a certain quota of refugees.
- Hungary has shown the ugliest face of Europe in the crisis. Hungary is suspicious of Muslim refugees and has been reluctant to offer asylum. She has rejected the quota proposal. She is adopting strict border guarding and punishments for illegal crossings via Serbia. Refugees are dying in Hungary and those en route to Germany are being badly exploited and susceptible to ailments because of indifferent governmental help.
- France has accepted 24,000 refugees as part of a wide EU plan.
- Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia are reluctant to host refugees for reasons similar to Hungary. They have rejected the quota proposal.
- Austria is offering to host refugees in a spirit similar to Germany.
- US is providing $26.6 million to the UN refugee agency to help provide food, water and legal assistance to the refugees.
- Britain is accepting thousands of Syrian refugees from camps in the Middle East. Britain will increase aid for victims of the Syrian conflict by 100 million pounds to 1 billion pounds.
- Greece has become the preferred Mediterranean entry point. Syrians and Afghans travel from Turkey to Greece. The refugee crisis has added to the existing problems of debt laden economy and unemployment.
- Italy has opposed the burden sharing through quota system. The Central Mediterranean passage connecting Libya to Italy is the most trafficked route for Europe-bound migrants. Refugees live in fear because of deteriorating security situation.
U.N. has urged the governments in Europe to adhere to EU’s asylum policy and resettle as many refugees as possible. In the long term, UN has urged all nations to contribute to integration of refugees and their protection. With the current status of a weak UN, it is practically a silent spectator in the crisis.
Actions in Europe to Resolve European Refugee Crisis
- International financial aid is a must to support the crisis. All members of the UN must contribute to this humanitarian venture.
- EU must arrive at a consensus and coordinate efforts to ensure safety and security of the refugees and prevent their exploitation by criminals. An agreeable quota for nations must be arrived at quickly.
- Fear of terrorism and diseases looms for the host nations. This needs to be tackled by establishing medical screening centers and maintaining and sharing data of refugees.
Actions in Gulf Region
- Economic, medical and educational support is required to the countries hosting refugees in the Gulf Region by the UN and the entire world.
- Coordinated efforts by US, EU, China and the UN to resolve conflicts in the Gulf Region are required.
- Coordinated efforts by US, EU, Gulf countries, Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia to defeat the menace of ISIS are required.
Long term Global Action Plan
It is high time that nations give up their narrow minded selfish interests to resolve global problems, like the one we are witnessing. To achieve the above:
- UN Security council needs to be enlarged and become more representative of current realities.
- The stupid use of veto needs to be eliminated by creating a better mechanism.
- UN needs to get more moral, political, financial and military muscle to become an effective organization in the current world scenario.
Conclusion: European Refugee Crisis
It is high time that the world humanity gets together to coordinate efforts to tackle such global problems. By continuing to follow narrow selfish interests we will all be losers and the world will deteriorate.