Currently, the most severe crisis connected with the issue of refugees is the Syrian refugee crisis, fueled by the start of the Civil War in 2011. Thousands of people have fled the fighting to neighboring nations by May 2011, with countless more displaced within Syria. When troops invaded and fought in numerous locations, entire towns attempted to flee, and hundreds of refugees crossed the border every day. In addition to the Syrian civil war, other sources of migration in the region include Iraqi civil war refugees, Kurdish refugees, and Palestinian refugees.
Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Yemen – are the main nation-states from which the refugees are moving in the search for a better life or simply trying to run from the horrors of war and iniquity. Initially, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt were the countries most affected by refugees due to the shared borders with either Syria or Iraq and due to the developed clandestine systems of human trafficking in these countries. The leading destination for the refugees, however, were countries of Western Europe. This can be specifically referred to in the year 2015 when approximately 1.5 million migrants sought refuge in Europe, which became the greatest amount since World War II (Agustín and Jorgensen). Since 2015, Europe has been facing a severe refugee crisis, becoming one of the main hubs for people running from Syria, Iraq, Libya, etc.
The rights of refugees are encoded in one of the fundamental documents of modern World Order – the UN Declaration of Human Rights. In Article 14, the document states that “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”. (Assembly, UN General). Together with Article 13, stating that “Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country” (Assembly, UN General), it created the basic framework for the rights of refugees, further reflected in the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees.
Several organizations are committed to assisting millions of refugees. UNHCR was established in 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly to lead and coordinate international efforts to protect refugees and solve refugee issues (Jacobsen and Sandvik). Mercy Corps is a humanitarian organization that helps Syrian refugees by providing food and supplies and boosting access to clean water and sanitation, shelters, and safe places. Save the Children, is a humanitarian organization that feeds Syrian children and promotes education in refugee camps. UNICEF is a UN institution dedicated to assisting Syrian children with health care, nutrition, sanitation, and activities (Item). ShelterBox is a non-profit organization that provides emergency shelter and essential supplies to communities affected by disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide.
Refugee camps are in a horrible state, with unimaginable poverty. The situation is quite depressing, and there is little chance for improvement shortly. There’s also the notion of granting specific quotas for immigration into Europe, particularly for persons with chronic diseases, but putting it into practice is difficult. There are other programs targeted at hastening family reunions. Providing safe passage for refugees might be a crucial choice. This entails allowing individuals to reunite with their families and providing refugees with visas so that they do not have to risk drowning to reach safety.
While Turkey and Jordan are already on the verge of collapse as a result of the influx of displaced people, many authorities are pondering how to restructure refugee assistance and where the main forces should be invested: in organizing the reception of displaced people in Europe or in humanitarian aid to the Middle Eastern countries that host the majority of refugees. One thing is clear: both plans must be implemented now: refugees must be placed in Europe, and help must be provided to the Middle Eastern nations that are taking over the primary flows of displaced people. It also entails the resettling of all refugees who require assistance. For the most vulnerable migrants, such as torture victims and those with major medical difficulties, resettlement is critical.
Human trafficking groups must be investigated and prosecuted in all nations, and the protection of refugees and migrants must be prioritized. Governments must also cease blaming refugees and migrants for economic and social issues instead of combatting xenophobia and racial prejudice in all forms. Otherwise, it is extremely unjust, generating tension and dread among outsiders and occasionally leading to violence and even death.
Another issue is that wealthy countries are simply not following through on their high-profile commitments to provide refugee relief elsewhere. The UN, for example, got less than half of the funds required to assist Syrian refugees (Agustín and Jorgensen). The bulk of refugees living outside of Jordan’s camps is presently forced to undertake risky, demeaning employment or send their children to beg as a result of this.
We require innovative solutions, strong leadership, and unprecedented global collaboration on a scale unseen in the last decades. This entails establishing robust refugee systems, which include enabling people to seek asylum, fair examination of their asylum applications, resettlement of the most vulnerable, and providing essential services like education and health care.
Agustín, Óscar García, and Martin Bak Jorgensen. Solidarity and the ‘Refugee Crisis’ in Europe. Springer, 2018.
Assembly, UN General. “Universal declaration of human rights.” UN General Assembly 302.2 (1948): 14-25.
Etem, Aysehan Jülide. “Representations of Syrian refugees in UNICEF’s media projects: New vulnerabilities in digital humanitarian communication.” Global Perspectives 1.1 (2020).
Jacobsen, Katja Lindskov, and Kristin Bergtora Sandvik. “UNHCR and the pursuit of international protection: accountability through technology?.” Third World Quarterly 39.8 (2018): 1508-1524.