Yet their movement across borders today is a perilous tangle of regulations that leave refugees and migrants unprotected, governments frustrated and their citizens outraged. After that, they’re on their own. The Uganda expulsion is now largely forgotten but migrant catastrophe currently confronting Europe brings back similar painful memories of statelessness, alienation and dislocation.
In one of the latest development around the Syrian refugee crisis is a good one. The majority have risked their lives to travel in overcrowded boats across the Mediterranean, in hopes of trekking across the Balkans to Germany.
That “trigger” impelled people who felt they had nothing to lose to make the sea and land crossings to Europe, which was entirely unprepared. Gary Peters sent a letter to the White House on Wednesday asking that the US accept no fewer than 100,000 refugees fleeing bloodshed from Syria and Iraq in the coming years, including 30,000 during the next fiscal year.
Hungary has shut down its border with Serbia and is considering closing down its frontier with Croatia, building a razor wire fence to keep out the tens of thousands of people on the move.
Libyan coastal cities have turned into major hubs for refugees and economic migrants from Syria, Eritrea, and sub-Saharan countries, and, crucially, the trafficking industry which preys upon them.
In the absence of a co-ordinated emergency response, local volunteers, NGO activists and tourists on Lesbos and other Greek islands are trying to do what governments and worldwide organisations should be doing. It’s well appreciated that among all the nations, European Union has let its door open for the refugee. Complicating matters are tightened restrictions on employment and residency permits that have made life even more unbearable.
The donors include the US and other members of the G-7 group of leading industrial states, other European countries and wealthy Gulf nations, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
And isn’t it a little odd that according to the UNHCR, 70 per cent of these desperate “refugees” are young adult males?
She continued “the importance of [US] aid can not be underestimated”. Words often described to invoke fear are terrorists, criminals and illegals. Their religion should not be a factor in determining Canada’s refugee policy. “In Syria, you see people everywhere”.
Both countries, however, offer generous welfare and housing provision to immigrants. Over the a year ago, more than 60 million people have been forced from their homes.
He said Japan is preparing about $750 million more “to help build peace” Middle East and Africa, including aid for water supply and sewage systems in Iraq. These reflect living conditions in Turkey, the varied backgrounds of refugees from Syria with varying levels of disquiet about their potential future in Turkey and, of course, the draw of Europe. “Britain is a moral nation and we will fulfil our moral responsibilities”. “As NDP leader Tom Muclair said, no amount of military action would have saved that child on that beach”. Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry also announced the USA refugee intake cap will increase to 100,000 by 2017.
Next to him, a tall, well-dressed man surrounded by his large extended family tells me he is from Idlib in the north. Tory said he has spoken with several Canadian mayors who want to help with the humanitarian crisis. This is the Canadian way.
Kiir signed under heavy pressure from the United States, which had championed the country’s fight for independence from Sudan. There is no doubt that Canadians have the compassion and generosity to be able to deal with the Syrians when they arrive.
The global Rescue Committee believes that the Obama administration’s decision to resettle 10,000 Syrians over the next year does not reflect the magnitude of the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.
As Dr Nafeez Ahmed wrote succinctly in the Guardian in 2013 before he was mysteriously dropped by the newspaper: “It is this – the problem of establishing a pliable opposition which the USA and its oil allies feel confident will play ball, pipeline-style, in a post-Assad Syria – that will determine the nature of any prospective intervention: not concern for Syrian life”.
Alexandra Kotyke of Lifeline Syria has spelt out what the government ought to do in processing refugee applications. Michelle Alfaro, an official from the United Nations High Commisioner for Refugees based in Buenos Aires spoke to US News about this still being a problem.