Syrian Refugees, Migrants Are Only Part Of The Global Crisis Of Displaced Persons

European Refugee, Migrant Crisis Just Part Of The Global Picture
The global community this week was stopped in its tracks as an image of a dead 3-year-old Syrian boy who had drowned while fleeing he and his family were fleeing to Europe. The outrage directed at Hungary and other European nations struggling to cope with the continued influx of refugees from war-torn Syria did result in Hungary and other nations reversing course to allow more migrants to settle within their borders.

Although the European Union certainly has mishandled the crisis, little attention has to date been paid to the greater failure of the Arab nations to step up to assist by taking into their own countries some of the refugees. In fact, as Ishaan Tharoor notes, according to Amnesty International, the wealthiest Gulf nations – Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain – together have not taken in a single refugee or migrant.

The crisis in Europe was a forgone conclusion that was the predictable consequence of the European Union’s failure to agree on a common asylum system, argues Lukas Kaelin in Foreign Affairs magazine.

However, he writes, the harsher border control policies adopted by Hungary will cause those migrants to seek other means for getting to Europe, but it will not stop refugees from fleeing war and economic hardship.

“But harsh controls are no solution. The only real answer is further European integration. In reaction to the flow of migrants, Europeans have focused on reinforcing national borders. That has left an unsafe, patchy, and deplorable mess for those fleeing violence. It has also made Europe more susceptible to the crisis; instead of focusing on comprehensive border controls, funds and attention have been squandered on reactive national plans,” he argues.

More than 4 million Syrians have been displaced from their homes since the three-year civil war began, but it is not the only conflict zone that has created a refugee crisis. In recognizing the signing this week of a peace accord in the four-year civil war in Sudan, the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees reported that more than 2.6 million Sudanese have been displaced since the war began.

And in south east Asia, death has also resulted from the decision of many in Burma and Afghanistan to flee to Malaysia, according to The Guardian. It is estimated that more than 120,000 Rohingya have fled from radical Buddhists in the past three years.


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