The refugee crisis of 2015, in Mediterranean Sea death and others refugee phenomenon is proved a gloomy night for the world. Most recently, a three-year-old Syrian toddler was washed up on a Turkish beach and this picture sourced the sparking international outcry.
However, thousands of people are risking their lives to reach in Europe, fleeing persecution, war and other hardships in the Middle East and Africa. Authorities are describing it as the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Many of them have died and trying to reach a better life. European nations are currently increasing efforts to stem the growing influx of those who do make the long journey safely, only to find they’re unwelcome in many nations. However, some countries have welcomed them.
Ground zero for the current crisis is the European Union (EU), where approximately 1.7 million desperate people have attempted to enter between 2011 and mid-2015. The Syrian civil war has displaced more than four million refugees to neighboring countries such as Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, where camps burst at the seams. Also some European countries placed the refugees such as Germany, Austria and UK. As chances of returning to Syria dim and prospects in host countries remain bleak, even more refugees are now heading for Europe.
Syrian Refugees and refugees fleeing North Africa via the Mediterranean represent a long-standing issue for European states. Refugees typically depart from Libya, Syria and Egypt- aiming for Italy and Greece, now in Hungary route due to their proximity. The majority of migrants are from Syria, where a civil war has been raging for more than four years. The nation, along with Iraq, is also plagued by Islamic State militants, who have taken over large swathes of the two countries. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that a high frequency of refugees is coming from Gambia, Senegal, Somalia and Eritrea respectively along the other refugees.
What say the Refugee Law
International legal protection of refugee’s centers on a person meeting the criteria for refugee status as laid down in the 1951 Refugee Convention. Under Article 1(A) -2, the term “refugee” shall apply to any person who “…owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”
Thus, according to this provision, refugees are defined by three basic characteristics. First, they are outside their country of origin or outside the country of their former habitual residence. Second, they are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted. Third, the persecution feared is based on at least one of five grounds: race, religion and nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
Most of the world’s refugees wait for durable solutions for their predicament. While most have been granted provisional or temporary asylum in neighboring countries, they are not able to regularize their status or integrate. Their rights to move and work are often highly restricted, and educational and recreational opportunities are often non-existent or severely lacking. These refugees seem to also be subject to attack, either by local security forces or by cross-border incursions from the country of origin.
Here, we can see more in Syrian refugee figure who are going to their neighboring country. First, now Turkey placed 18,05,255 Syrian refugees. Since 2011, Turkey placed one million Syrian refugees. Lebanon accepted 11,72,753 Syrian refugees and Iraq 250,408 refugees. (Source: European Commission on 19.08.2015)
Why so many refugees going to Europe?
There are a few reasons that refugees have become more willing to brave the journey to Europe. The first is that, the crisis in their home countries have simply become too dangerous to tolerate. Another is that, while many initially fled into camps, those camps have become dangerous as well, and offer little future for families who may spend years there.
This summer, the European Union, United States, and Kuwait respectively pledged $1.2 billion, $507 million, and $500 million donation for aid to refugees. I think, this is good a decision but it’s still far short of the $5.5 billion in aid that the UN says is needed for these refugees, as well as another $2.9 billion for displaced (IDPs) Syrians within Syria. As a result, the camps are often crowded and undersupplied, which leaves the people who live in them cold, hungry, and subject to the ravages of disease.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees have made their way to Europe, with most crossing the Mediterranean in rickety boats and rubber dinghies. Those boats are barely seaworthy, so tragedies are happened continuously. UNHCR estimates that 2,500 people have died just this summer while attempting to make the crossing.
That influx to wealthy countries makes the crisis seem, for those countries, far more immediate and extreme. When children die in Syria, that rarely grabs the developed world’s attention sadly and unjustly, it has come to seem routine. But when they die in the back of trucks in Austria or in the Mediterranean while trying to reach Greece that feels much harder to ignore.
Why Europe is Struggling, not others?
The pressures of uncontrolled refugees are hardly restricted to Europe. But the EU’s predicament is particularly acute. The sudden influx of refugees has appeared to catch European governments by surprise and has exposed fissures among the members of the Union. There are five reasons that express —why Europe is struggling for refugees?
Europeans do not know—who is crossing their borders. Are they refugees or economic refugees? Many of the people showing up are asylum seekers who claim the status of refugees that is defined under a 1951 UN convention as someone who has fled his or her country because of a— “well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.” But until such claims can be definitively evaluated which can take months. These people are stuck in limbo, suspected of being economic refugees—who have chosen to move for better job prospects.
EU members can’t get on the same page equation matters, EU member states are quarrelling amongst themselves about how to respond. In principle, the EU’s Dublin Regulation stipulates that entry-point states are responsible for housing refugees and examining their asylum applications. But this EU law has placed a heavy strain on Mediterranean nations like Italy and particularly Greece, whose protracted financial crisis has left it ill-equipped to handle a sudden influx of refugees. In what it thought was a constructive move—Germany has suspended the Dublin Regulation and will allow Syrian refugees to apply for refugees even if they first arrived in another country.
Politicians are feeling the heat from right-wing blowback. The rise of right-wing political parties in numerous EU countries (Denmark, Sweden, and France) has fueled popular anti-immigrant sentiments. Violence against refugees and refugees has spiked in Germany, where asylum seekers increased 32% in 2014. The pressures of populist nationalism have made it more difficult for politicians at the inter-European level to agree on a unified response.
In 2013 by the Regulatory incoherence, the European Parliament endorsed a Common European refugee System, which establishes procedures to ensure uniform treatment for all refugee applications. Unfortunately, EU countries have failed to implement and enforce these provisions with any consistency. Complicating matters, there is no agreed list of countries the EU considers to be in conflict, making it hard to determine whether a person is an asylum seeker or a migrant. Nor are there any collective EU centers for asylum seekers to get processed and fed. Each EU nation has its own ways of doing things, exacerbating the sense of regulatory chaos.
European countries insist they are not considering a military operation on Libyan soil. If the UN special envoy to Libya, Bernardino Leon, can reach a deal among Libyan factions to form a government by the September 21 deadline he has set, Libya will need some sort of security support to make it stand up, since ISIL is already fighting in Sirte, on the coastline. But European countries are reluctant to intervene and the Libyans are asking for military support from the Arab League.
As for Syria, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, in a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, stressed once again that any response to the crisis must be political. And Putin is increasingly casting his shadow over any solution in the Middle East.
All this subject are complex and any one cannot easily be resolved it. But the EU can and must do better. For future, I have through my view for, where is need to reach agreement on the following points—reaffirm humanitarian values, hammer out realistic agreement on burden-sharing, jointly designate countries of safe origin manner and, finally, need a more robust multilateral mechanism to develop and promote common global standards for the processing and treatment of refugees.
Why Rich Arabian Countries are sleeping?
The world has been transfixed by the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe, an influx of refugees unprecedented since World War II. A fair amount of attention has fallen on the failure of many Western governments to adequately address the burden on Syria’s neighboring countries, which are struggling to host the brunt of the roughly 4 million Syrians forced out of the country by its civil war.
Some European countries have been criticized for offering sanctuary only to a small number of refugees, or for discriminating between Muslims and Christians. There’s also been a good deal of continental hand-wringing over the general dysfunction of Europe’s systems for asylum. Less ire, though, has been directed at another set of stakeholders who almost certainly should be doing more—especially Saudi Arabia and the wealthy Arab states along the Persian Gulf.
As Amnesty International recently pointed out, the six Gulf countries—Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain—have offered zero resettlement places about Syrian refugees. These countries include some of the Arab world’s largest military budgets, its highest standards of living, as well as a lengthy history, especially in the case of the United Arab Emirates of welcoming refugees from other Arab nations and turning them into citizens.
Moreover, these countries aren’t totally innocent bystanders. To varying degrees, elements within Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait have invested in the Syrian conflict, playing a conspicuous role in funding and arming a constellation of rebel and Islamist factions for fighting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
None of these countries are signatories of the United Nations’ 1951 Refugee Convention, which defines what a refugee is and lays out their rights, as well as the obligations of states to safeguard them. Like European countries, Saudi Arabia and its neighbors also have fears over new arrivals taking jobs from citizens, and may also invoke concerns about security and terrorism.
The Gulf must realize that now is the time to change their policy regarding accepting refugees from the Syria crisis. It is the moral, ethical and responsible step to take.
EU turns its back on refugee Quotas
The EU executive has drawn up a new set of national quotas under which Germany will take in more than 40,000 and France 30,000 of a total of 160,000 asylum-seekers. It says refuges should be relocated from Italy, Greece and Hungary. The initial proposal to relocate refugees arriving in Italy and Greece would also be expanded to include refugees arriving in Hungary. As European leaders stepped up efforts to tackle the historic crisis, France also said it would take 24,000 more asylum-seekers under a European plan to relocate 120,000 refugees from hard-hit frontline countries.
Member states rejected binding national quotas in June but since their voluntary offers have fallen short of 40,000 while the numbers of people arriving in Europe has surged, the Commission, backed by Germany and France, is pushing for governments to accept allocations set for them in Brussels. The refugees would be distributed under a formula, or “distribution key”, based 40-percent on receiving countries’ national income, 40-percent on population, 10-percent on the unemployment rate and 10-percent on how many refugees the country was already accommodating before this year’s crisis. (Source: The Daily star-08.09.2015)
Italy and Greece are the main entry points for refugees who reach the European Union by sea, while Hungary as the main entry point for those arriving by land across the Balkan peninsula, has more recently become a focus of the crisis. Germany has suspended for Syrian refugees because of its application of the “Dublin Regulation,” a key element of EU migration policy that requires asylum-seekers to be identified and stay in the country where they first arrive. By accepting refugees who arrive via other countries, experts and political analysts say, Merkel’s Germany is showing strong moral leadership on this issue. But it cannot act alone. Like many other EU leaders, Merkel must contend with public opinion that is partly hostile to refugee.
No other European leader with the authority to push through a new approach to refugee is in sight. In this side, we can see a new world for through a good decision.
Abdur Rahman Fuad is a graduate student at the University of Dhaka.