There are now over 4 million Syrian refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. More than 300,000 refugees trying to reach Europe have crossed the Mediterranean Sea so far this year, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Most are now landing in Greece, fewer in Italy or Malta. Many never make it: almost 3000 people have died or gone missing during the risky journey. If they eventually make it to the other shore they encounter many problems, starting with the EU migration regulations, and the Hungary's crisis exposes the 'farce' of the EU asylum policy. According to EurActiv, Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán plans to stop refugees, instituting a procedure which may breach many international laws, but he is reported to believe that other leaders will be soon forced to do the same. Rich countries have actively avoided policies that would make the journeys less dangerous, and thus contributed to the danger.
“Small consular outposts could be created outside the European Union, in places like Bodrum in Turkey or Zuwara in Libya. As migratory routes change over time these posts could be relocated. At these transit points people could be quickly screened and those with a plausible asylum claim would be allowed access to Europe. They could then simply fly to Europe or take a scheduled ferry at their own expense.”
Crispian Cuss in Al Jazeera offers a few solutions:
"If Europe seriously wants to prevent more drownings then it either
needs to tackle the scourge of human trafficking or conduct humanitarian evacuations itself. Given the lawless nature of certain states across the Mediterranean it cannot do the former, therefore the only option left is to deploy its own navies and expedite the evacuation of those refugees it is prepared to accept.
"The international community should put full pressure on countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar to do their duty in accepting a large contingent of the refugees. Furthermore, by way of supporting the anti-Assad rebels, Saudi Arabia is largely responsible for the situation in Syria. And the same holds in different degrees for many other countries—we are all in it."
Žižek warns the refugees entering Europe might become "cheap precarious workforce, in many cases at the expense of local workers, who react to this threat by joining anti-immigrant political parties."
Toddler's death sparks outcry, here are some suggestions how you can help Syria's children. It seems that politicians won't help the refugee crisis, but here are 18 ways you can. You can help refugees through these 6 groups, which are doing important work. I repeat the link: Donate to UNHCR - UN Refugee Agency. (Please check the links.)
Pope Francis calls on Catholics to take in refugee families, Bob Geldof offers his home to Syrian refugees, an Egyptian billionaire wants to buy an island for the world's refugees, the IOC pledges help for refugees with launch of $2m fund, and Finland´s current Prime Minister Juha Sipilä will give his home to refugees in the beginning of 2016. A special Refugees Welcome international website has been set up to help refugees find accommodation. British Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans from the UK to take up to 20,000 Syrian refugees directly from the overcrowded camps near the Syrian border, where the situation is difficult. More than 100 leading British cultural figures have signed a statement calling for the UK to take in more refugees and complaining that the British government’s response to the European refugee crisis has been “too little, too late”. All VAT will be waived on charity single Help Is Coming to raise money to help Syrian refugees.
Here's What America Can Do About the Refugee Crisis - A petition asking the Obama administration to settle at least 65,000 Syrians by 2016 has nearly met its signature goal in just over one week.
I am calling on the EU leaders to change the rules and secure safe routes for refugees, so that they no longer risk their lives boarding unsafe boats and giving their earnings to smugglers, who are the only ones making profits in this sad story. "It is time for Europe to take decisive action, allowing refugees to enter the EU legally," Social Europe calls on Europeans to unite and uphold human rights and the human dignity of refugees. The EU needs to redefine what it means to be a ‘refugee’.
While everything should be made to secure peace and stability in their countries of origin, the international community should do its most to give the refugees a new home and the respect they deserve. They will become ambassadors of the country that gave them a shelter when they needed it most. They did not come to 'invade' us, they are fleeing from war and fundamentalists. Most of them are well educated and will contribute to the prosperity of their surrogate countries, the same way they contributed to the economies of the USA, Canada and Australia - because these countries accepted all immigrants, economic and refugees. America wouldn't have had a talent like Steve Jobs, had his father not moved from Syria to the US to study in the 1950s and remained there. History is the best teacher.
1. Enabling safe passage
2. Comprehensive plans of action
3. Development assistance for regions of origin
4. European burden-sharing
5. Adapting international legal standards
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson
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