Monday, May 16, 2016

Refugee Conditions – The War on Human Equity

Picture from: The Daily Beast 

The Syrian civil war has been going on for over five years, and with continuous cease fires that are being broken - and mass death and destruction continuing to take place. It seems that more Syrians will be seeking refuge outside of the country. This will result in more countries needing support to house hundreds of thousands more that will be fleeing their homes to the intensity of the civil. In recent news, after the bombing of Aleppo by the Assad Regime, Russian Jets, and extremist groups like ISIS and Jabat Al-Nusra [1].  

According to recent reports, there are  over 50,000 Syrian refugees at the border of Syria and Jordan close by the Ruqban and Hadalat border[2]. In recent years, countries neighboring Syria (such as Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey) have taken some of the largest amount of refugees. However, there has also been a mass influx of refugees seeking refugees in European countries in the last three years. These refugees consist mostly of Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, abuses in Eritrea, as well as poverty in Kosovo  that flee to Europe in large numbers every year. [3] 

These large number of refugees arriving  in European countries have led to push back policies that seen by most people as  xenophobia, islamophobia and racist. Recently,  the current policies that were agreed upon by the European Commission on October 25th, 2015 has created more issues  than finding ways to ensure that Syrian and non Syrian refugees are being  treated with dignity, and are integrated into the societies of the respective European countries housing these refugees. Some of the 17-point plan policies that raise concern and can endanger the wellbeing of refugees include[4]:

      permanent exchange of information
      limiting secondary movements
      shared management of migration flows
      border management

These policies were created through a meeting by level of Heads of State or Governments on refugee flows along the Western Balkan route. Although these meetings and policies were intended to ensure that refugees are treated in a humane manner along the length of the Western Balkans route. The outcomes of these policy implementations have only lead to more refugees being treated with less dignity. For example, the current  living conditions in the camps in these Balkan states are inhumane conditions by border patrol officers located in the western Balkan states of Europe.[5] 
Picture from: BBC

European countries  should take the lead of other western countries, like Canada that has taken more progressive steps that that treat refugees with dignity and best integrates them into Canadian society[6].   

The policies include:
      Private sponsorship by individuals, corporations and organizations can provide safety and shelter to thousands of refugees each year.
      Canada’s unique sponsorship program allows Canadian residents and organizations to directly sponsor asylum petitioners abroad.
      The government will prioritize processing the applications of privately sponsored refugees, under a program that allows Canadian citizens and organizations to sponsor family members or other asylum seekers.[7]
      For refugees permitted into Canada under government sponsorship, emphasis will be placed on admitting Syrian women and families currently displaced and living in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, according to Immigration Minister John McCallum[8].

[1] "Aleppo bombed as Syrian army begins 'calm' plan elsewhere | Reuters." 2016. 9 Apr. 2016 <>
[2] "Jordan blocks 50,000 Syrian refugees near border - Al-Monitor: the ..." 2016. 9 Apr. 2016 
[3] "Migrant crisis: Migration to Europe explained in seven charts -" 2015. 9 Apr. 2016  <>
[4] "Migration | European Commission." 2016. 9 Apr. 2016  
[5] "Migrants Crossing Balkans Face Routine Police Abuse ... - VICE News." 2015. 9 Apr. 2016 <>
[6] "An Alternative Way to Resettle the Refugees - WSJ." 2015. 9 Apr. 2016 
[7] "United Nations Praises Canada's Refugee Policy - Muftah."  9 Apr. 2016  
[8] "Canada Unveils Syrian Refugee Resettlement Program - Muftah." 9 Apr. 2016