Refugee/Asylum Seeker Problems

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Joll, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. Joll

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    Watched a program last night, following some of the many refugees heading to Europe from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, etc. Apparently 40,000 have tried to get in so far this year.

    Obviously, many EU countries are overwhelmed (with extra waves as a result of the Arab spring), and with the current financial/eurozone crisis can't afford to help or house them, and governments (especially UK) will do anything to stop them arriving on their doorstep.

    But...risking their lives, falling into the hands of traffickers, climbing onto the axles of lorries to get over the border into the EU and ultimately ending up on the streets of Athens or in a detention centre in the UK, seems a really harsh end to an attempt to escape strife or seek a better life.

    Is there anything that can be done to help these people? Creating greater stability in their region would ultimately reduce some refugee numbers (but in the short term creates more - as with Afghanistan/Iraq/Libya).

    Would housing (rather than pure detention) centres help, where people can be 'held'/housed - and maybe offered minimum wage - or social security in return for menial jobs (on civic projects, or other schemes that achieved beneficial results), just to get ppl off the streets, fed and able to support themselves in some way? That way, they could at least be of some small benefit to the countries they arrive in, rather than either being stuck on the streets, locked up in centres, or receiving benefits with nothing in return?

    Maybe a hopeless situation - but just wondered what ppls thoughts/ideas are on this. :)
     
    #1 Joll, Jun 17, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 17, 2011
  2. Jason

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    Not a hopeless situation, but a very difficult one. First thoughts:

    1) We need a new, international framework. The present system was designed when refugees mostly travelled overland. They were therefore accommodated close to their homeland (in fact as today the Syrians in Turkey) and therefore able to return asap. The international aim should be to negotiate or create an environment where refugees can return to their home nation. Dispersal of refugees (eg giving Libyans who have fled to Italy visas to travel throughout the EU) is unlikely to be right for the refugees. There are also issues to be addressed around refugees who travel long distances by air.

    2) When refugees become involuntary migrants we need realistic integration. For example Afghans arriving in the UK rarely have much or any English and rarely have workplace skills that we need. At the moment benefits are in effect the only option. We should be going all out to find some form of work, but this would have to be on some special scheme where the salary is very low, presumably topped up by benefits.

    3) Past ages used population swap. At the end of he first world war millions moved, eg Turks from Thrace (Greece) and Greeks from W Anatolia (Turkey). It is politically and culturally unacceptable to suggest that the Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank should move elsewhere in the Arab world, yet this is a solution of sorts.
     
  3. vince

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    Joll you are right. The immediate problems of refugees are not easy to solve. I think a combination of policies that encourage integration into the host country and fostering positive changes in their homeland to stop the flow and make return feasible, are needed. Vietnam is an example. The refugees of the 1970's were welcomed and given tons of support in the US and Canada, while the ending of the war and subsequent economic development led to the normalization of conditions in that country.

    In many cases the root cause of people leaving their country could be avoided if outside nations would behave differently.
    Stop dealing arms and ammunition to oppressive regimes. Stop buying their oil.


    Stop allowing them to buy influence in our legislative assemblies and governments. This is corruption and should be illegal.


    Stop appeasing the supporters terrorism, ethnic cleansing and abusers of human rights in the interests what you perceive to be your national security. Invariably, it's not in your interest to do so. Examples are Libya, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Israel, China, Syria, Egypt, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Vietnam, South Africa, and so on.


    Stop invading countries for no good reason as was done in Algeria, Afghanistan in 1979, Iraq in 2003 and Vietnam in the 50's and 60's.



    It's probably easier to and more secure to avoid the problem than tried to deal with it later.
     
  4. vince

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    Isn't there a contradiction here?


    In point 1), you don't support the dispersal of refugees and think should stay close to home to make it easier to return. But then in point 3), you indicate that moving the Palestinians elsewhere in the "Arab world" could be a solution. They already are elsewhere in the Arab world. Why not move them to Europe in North America?


    The ethnic swaps that happened in the remains of the Ottoman empire were tragic. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their property, their loved ones, their way of life and many died. The horrible effects are still felt to this day. The ethnic cleansing and population swaps that happened when India and Pakistan became nations were horrific.


    I don't think this is a good idea at all.
     
  5. Joll

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    Good points! Thanks for the responses chaps.

    I agree - a multi-layered approach is needed. Dealing with the tensions in their homelands, easing ability to return, change in foreign policy to reduce long term political tensions.

    Thing is tho - some of the answers (not supporting corrupt dictators who suit our national needs) would lead to some of the other problems which cause the displacement (intervening and removing corrupt regimes?).

    At the same time, whatever we do, there will doubtless still be people who need to escape trouble - and since we have a situation at present where there are huge numbers of displaced peoples, I guess we need to address how to handle them now, as well as how to prevent it in future.

    Maybe as both Vince and Jase suggested - ease their integration and provide a suitable option for them (housing/shelter in return for labour?) which will help them, and reduce the drain on the host nation too?

    Turkey, Greece and Italy (Lampedusa?) seem particularly badly hit at the moment - with refugees from Syria, Afghanistan, and the N. African coast. :( Altho, that Syrian spokeswoman (Comical Sally) would no doubt claim they were all just visiting their Mum. :rolleyes:
     
    #5 Joll, Jun 18, 2011
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  6. Jason

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    Of course it's not a good idea. It's an abysmal, shocking, terrible idea. But it might still be the best idea there is. If we are to get to grips with refugee issues we do have to consider the tough ideas.

    Ethnic swaps are indeed tragic. But again they may be the least bad of a range of bad options. De facto Bosnia is now partitioned on ethnic lines with ethnic swaps within the nation. In Bosnia ethnic swap is a bad idea, but the best the world has come up with. The Greek-Turkish ethnic swap at the end of the First World War was again tragic, but it is very hard to see what other option was on the table. And it has created two states (Greece and Turkey) who can just dislike one another rather than going to war over an ethnic problem.

    If there were a good idea to solve the problems of Israel and Palestine it would have been applied years ago. We still have in Gaza what is technically a refugee camp. The great and the good have been trying to find solutions for generations - and have failed. Ethnic movement may be the least bad of bad ideas - at least the world needs to look at it.

    The solution to the Northern Ireland problem came about because of a willingness to think the unthinkable - to give political power to terrorist murderers. This offends just about everyone's sense of what is right. The solution to many of the world's refugee problems comes within the same style of thinking. IMO a "fair", "just" and "right" solution to the problems of Palestine is not achievable - rather we need a solution that brings peace. The block on peace in the region is IMO the idea that we should be seeking some ideal solution. IMO we should seek instead the pragmatic solution.
     
  7. august86

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    IMO, most countries don't want to take on the burden (esp. financially) that allowing refugees into their country brings.

    These people most often arrive with very little in respect of possessions, money, etc, and therefore will place tremendous strain on a particular country's social assistance programmes without the possibility of contribution to the economy which funds them.

    Also, what I've noticed (being from a neighbouring country to some of these civilly unstable countries), crime rates increase due to the refugees being so destitute and/or due to the poorer/uneducated/unskilled citizens revolting against these people for taking their potential jobs (albeit illegally) and chances of making a living.
    So, the country's government runs the risk of causing unrest among it's own people as well.

    When it comes to offering assistance to the originating country so that they're able to reach the point where there's enough stability for the refugees to return, the question becomes, will those who benefit from the unrest (rebels, corrupt presidents, terrorists, political forces and powerful business people) want to take revenge and stop these processes?
    Those who have a vested interest in unrest will stop at nothing to see it perpetuated, and there's nothing really that can be done by those outside of the country apart from somehow convincing those instrumental to stop, which might get them killed by the others who have not been convinced.
    International treaties and the UN etc have very little influence on a country whose leader refuses to see reason, and has full legislative power and control.

    Also, will the "previous" refugees want to leave their established lives in the country to which they fleed thereafter?
    There's nothing worse than trying to get people to leave who just won't take a hint, and by then they could have reproduced in the other country and want to claim citizenship by birth, which will create even more "problems".

    So, albeit incredibly sad, it seems the best option right now is for the other countries to take a "looking in from the sidelines" approach if they want to maintain their respective countries' stability. i.e: don't take them in but rather offer prayers, aid and funding to assist them.
     
    #7 august86, Jul 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  8. B_crackoff

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    The thing is, how do you tell who is genuinely innocently fleeing persecution, & who is chancing their arm?

    We have happy African cases like this to boil over - how do you even move 12 kids?

    Family of 12 refugees handed £6k-a-month UK home | Mail Online

    Made worse by polygamy in many African countries - where we also seem to pay child benefit to ( my best mate in Uni was one of 65! )

    UNFPA: The Price of Polygamy In Ethiopia: 12 Wives + 78 Children = Trouble (VIDEO)

    We have the ridiculous situation where there are so many cases, & so many are given leave to stay after they fail (80%!), that a complete hardening, & a proper processing/deportation town needs to be built.

    There are an estimated million illegals in the UK, & another million who have been given leave to remain (most failing asylum requirements).

    The biggest kick in the teeth is that most return home for a long visit AFTER being granted asylum - not that persecuted then eh? I know Mugabe supporters who have been granted asylum here, & go home for a month!

    England, because of Labour's abolition of border controls, is about to become the most densley populated country in Europe - because of immigration. In the South East, the strain on the infrastructure & employment is severe.

    We spend billions on aid to the countries from which these guys have left, billions on legal & social costs to them here, & wind up paying social & housing costs of unemployment to domestic citizens usurped.

    It's an appalling waste of money. In 1950 the combined total of Ethiopian & Nigerian citizens together numbered just less than the 50 million in the UK. Now they are 4 times higher! That will be 5 times more by 2025, & 8 times by 2050! Ethiopia, which had 33 million at Live Aid, will have 113 million by 2025, & 186 million by 2050.

    Guess what, most of the developing world's population's average age is around 16. The number of kids skews the population massively, which means that even if they only had 2 kids each, the population growth will still rise exponentially.

    All that aid, the wrong thing for the right reason (something which is always wrong for me), without any attention to the consequences of not controlling the population will inevitably make mass flight from these countries WORSE!

    Where you have a massive youth population, knob all jobs, scarce resources, & an overwhelming reliance on other countries to perpetually bail you out - which they will have to because of soil erosion, lack of water etc, you will get mass dissent, war, famine, & refugees.

    Aid without condition has just overpopulated the planet. The UK would be better off giving all asylum seekers £25,000 - £50,000 to go home & live like kings in many circumstances, & be rfid tagged to ensure they don't come back.

    Did you know that 9 out of 10 police killed by a lethal weapon (other than a vehicle) in the last 17 years in the UK were killed by asylum seekers or illegals? Or that half the ethnic minorities in jail are asylum seekers or illegals too? It's not very well publicised is it?

    At the time of the Iraq war, over 1% of all Iraqis(300,00+) lived in the UK claiming asylum. None volunteered.

    I know it sounds like a rant, but asylum seekers & refugees will inexorably increase because of the weights of population, unemployment, famine & war.

    Self governance has not worked in these countries, but who would want to govern them? There has been profligate thievery by leaders, & no incentive whatsoever to rebuild or reform countries, the main part of which would be to cut the birth rate.

    Our stupid empathetic response has only made matters worse. Exactly how much are you willing to give up for another's proclivities? We've seen our left wing & liberal unions not even willing to retire at the same age as the private sector, nor willing to renegotiate their gold plated unaffordable pensions, so how the hell can we afford it?

    I think that anything we do is pissing in the wind though, & the world in 25 years will be a lot different to today, & today's social mores & concerns abandoned as future generations become more survival orientated rather than futon philanthropists.
     
  9. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    I think we need to understand that the developed world's so called "refugee crisis" is a rightwing trope. The real refugee crisis is actually happening on a vast scale in the developing world. If we want to solve whatever relatively minor problems we face in terms of refugee migrations then we need to make it possible, indeed more advantageous for refugees to seek asylum in countries closer to their homeland. This will require us to help these often fairly unstable and poor developing world countries who deal with the real refugee crisis in a wide variety of ways. But above and beyond all this the developed world needs to stop creating the violent and terrible crises which provoke vast numbers of refugees to flee their homelands in the first place.


    TBH the situation begs no half measures and sticking plasters like refugee labour camps on the borders of the EU and it needs less opportunistic political hay-making and a wider global approach to world peace and prosperity which requires the developed world to stop putting its own interests and disproportionate wealth above and beyond any other consideration, as has been the case heretofore.
     
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