The Big Dilemma Over Refugees In Europe

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David Miliband thinks the refugee crisis is not a European problem. I agree but can local bureaucracy amongst many other ills really be responsible for the crisis in the Mediterranean?

In Germany, it is hard to not feel proud of its longstanding position as an economic powerhouse, a developed and advanced country, and an important player in the European Union, to say the least. It is perhaps not wondrous when, as a result, refugees in landlocked regions and conflict zones, look towards this European country for absorption of such people because it must seem the most economically capable nation who can do so. Why must we do so? Because these refugees live in tormented circumstances, in the midst of battle-heavy environments, like Afghans do in their country because of the dangers of life as dictated by the “Taliban”. As outrageous as that thought sounds that in Western cultures Syria has a higher standing than Afghanistan people’s concepts can sometimes not only be laughable, it can also be ridiculous.

Germany is also a country with many social problems, such as unemployment, poverty and how this sees a growing number of people rely on soup kitchens because welfare support is inadequate. Many neighbourhoods in the country are home to children who dropped out of high school young. Often when you open the newspaper you have to read about young children, falling into the traps of poverty because they were born into a family of drug addicts and mentally ill parents.

David Miliband, the former British foreign secretary and the president and the CEO of the International Rescue Committee has highlighted that the migrant exodus from Syria is not Europe’s problem and called on for the need to remember how conflict in that territory is responsible for this crisis in Europe. Following four and a half years of war, a quarter of it’s population chose to repeatedly contribute to this exodus population because of devastating national violence.

Miliband feels that an emergency has erupted over doing something for the “humanitarian” impact of Syria’s national war. There is bureaucracy, beseigment and repeated violations of UN Security Council resolutions. People are displaced, national structures are targeted, unfairly. A number of these refugees are stateless, but most are not, and there is increasing poverty and terror everywhere.

People in Syria, part of the exodus population are just too afraid to do anything, to move, to become desperate to move to Europe, hoping for freedom from the internal violence in their country – developing, poverty-stricken economies do often face this challenging world of bureaucracy, like for Nepal. In Nepal, relief for earthquake victims in the recent traumatic episode were not delivered to people because of bureaucracy. Goods sat inside warehouses as the United Nations had to satisfy lines and lines of government departments and ministries before they could reach the disaster areas – some Western diplomats, believe it or not! fought for this strict protocol to be implemented in Nepal, come high or low. All of this red-tape does a great job in delaying aid reaching the victims but unlike in Syria, because of a co-operative Prime Minister there is still hope that aid will finally see the light of day it is supposed to see.

These are the kind of climates presiding over first world and developing economies, so naturally, Germany will be ill-prepared to do something about Syria’s refugee exodus on it’s shores. Except for maybe show them the polite route back to their country and maybe remind people that Syria’s national conflict is pretty devastating.

Schools in England are being asked to contribute to the idea of a better life for this refugee exodus because so many have died here after risking their life to enter Europe by boats through the Mediterranean. They have been asked to pledge to provide a better life for them, make room for them, learn more about them and ask your community to be more committed. I have not been one to warm to this pledge – I am already committed to the ideals of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, who also do something for extreme poverty, in emerging economies, such as India and Bangladesh. The organization is a strong believer of supporting vulnerable people in the world, ending hunger and violence against females, amongst many other notable causes.

Recently, there was an earthquake in Chile and the scale of it was devastating – Red Cross is there to help with evacuations and are still scaling the level of the damage. There is a lot of drama involved in these campaigns – it is my observation. It is not there when Miliband talks of it, it’s not there when I talk about similar situations in other emerging economies but that must be precisely what makes all of that attractive to “motivated people out to make a difference”.


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