We Need a Global Solution to the Refugee Crisis
The solution I’m about to suggest is not realistic or feasible – at all – but I’m throwing it out there in hopes that other people will start voicing their thoughts on how to get a global solution to this global problem. And hopefully a good feasible solution will be found – because what’s happening at the moment is inhumane.
Very simply, what if there were UN protected asylum seeker processing centres in every country of the world? These centres would include buildings fit for habitation, medical centres and offices for processing applications. They would be built in unpopulated areas that could be easily accessed by both people on foot or in vehicles, by helicopter or ideally planes. They would be linked to each other by communication and transport links. There would be widespread messaging about the location of the centre in each of the countries so people would know that in the event of disaster, natural or man-made, or if they were at risk of persecution (for example for their beliefs or ethnicity) they should go to the UN protected processing centre. When a centre would become inundated with people coming to it, they would link in with the centres in neighbouring countries and then transport their excess numbers to centres with vacancies. The centres would only house people temporarily while their refugee applications were being processed. Each country would have an agreed maximum number of refugees it would take in each year. People would be sent to countries where they had relatives whenever possible – unless they had some objection to joining their relatives, failing that they would be sent to the country of their preference provided that country hadn’t already reached its annual limit for refugees.
So there are lots of obvious obstacles to establishing such a system, even if you ignore the huge costs involved and the difficulties of getting each country to pay their share, and ignore the massive logistical problem of trying to find in every country in the world a suitable location, ignoring those massive obstacles, can you imagine trying to sell the idea of a centre where political dissidents could seek refuge – in some countries that would be at best the start of a very dark joke…
Also there are more than 65 million displaced people in the world today. That means that even if every country in the world had a processing centre like I described above, they would each need to be able to accommodate over 33,000 asylum seekers.
Yes, it’s not at all a realistic solution in today’s world. But we do need some sort of coordinated solution. Could we have something like this on a smaller scale? Not in every country but in enough that asylum seekers could head to embassies who would then direct them to the nearest centre. Obviously they wouldn’t be able to deal with the huge numbers worldwide but … I don’t know. I would really love if something like this was possible.
People keep on talking about globalisation being the problem but I think the real problem is how unevenly and unjustly our world is globalised. Barriers and borders don’t really exist for big business and … well those who are rich. I don’t know if I’m being unfair saying that – but that is how it feels. It’s one of the privileges of EU citizenship that I love – I’m free to go look for work throughout Europe. It doesn’t matter that I don’t have much money. Obviously I’d need enough to finance the job search – but it’s a great freedom.
The number of people who have been “displaced” i.e. either fled their homes or been forcibly moved is truly terrible. We’re seriously failing innocent people in need of help – this surely requires a global response. Below are a couple of videos to highlight just some of the problems – the countries involved aren’t the issue because we are all failing to remedy this crisis and it requires a global response, don’t you think so?
Nearly 1 out of every 100 people in the world are now displaced from their homes – short video showing the number of displaced people, from which countries, and with short explanations as to the various causes. It’s mostly due to war.
In case you read through all my muddled musings there and thought “no, they need to resolve the conflicts in those countries” – well yes, but in the meantime? And wouldn’t it be a good idea to have a global system in place anyway? What if we experience more serious natural disasters, like tsunamis for instance (here is a disturbing video of the people caught up in the approach of a tsunami), more frequently? Should we maybe have a system like this in place? At the moment man is the biggest threat to man, what if that changes? – And if it doesn’t, we’d still have a system where asylum seekers would be welcomed into habitable safe havens while we processed applications.
I’m sorry that this post isn’t very helpful. And all the videos there are disturbing. I’m sorry. If you’re feeling the need to do something after having watched those videos – here’s a link to search results for “donate to aid agencies helping refugees”.
I don’t know what the solution is but it does seem increasingly clear that this problem needs a global solution. I’m not going to mention all the stories from the past and present of people seeking refuge who have been turned away – but for those unlucky ones who didn’t find refuge lets honour them by setting up a proper safety net for innocent people fleeing danger.