The Migrant crisis

Migrant is a person who makes a conscious decision to leave their country in order to find a better place for living. This can either be the consequence of war like one being active in Syria or economic plight.

The second example is known as economic migrant or a person who emigrates from one region to another seeking an life improvement or new job opportunities. A line has to be drawn out between an Economic migrant and refugees who are forced to leave their country because they are at risk or have experienced persecution. Many of them risk their lives searching for a safe place to live in.

The European migrant crisis began in 2015 when a rising number of refugees made the journey to European Union to seek asylum. A person gets refugee status only when their asylum request has been granted. traveling across Mediterranean Sea and Southeast Europe.

Tensions like protests, ascent of violence and extremist right parties in both EU and non EU states were extremely rising particularly in countries where the majority of migrants were arriving: Italy, Hungary, Greece, Serbia… while some governments are trying to support refugees in order to get to their main destination which currently are: Germany, Sweden , France, United Kingdom, Denmark, Hungary where some of them succeed to build new lives.

Until recently, the sea crossing from Libya to Italy had been the preferred route for all the migrants fleeing to Europe. A far shorter and less dangerous sea route exists from Turkey to Greece. But the journey from Greece through the Balkans to the northern European destinations preferred by refugees was far more complicated than the one leading through Italy. After the lifting of harsh measures aimed at preventing refugees from entering the country in June, the route through the Balkans opened up. Turkey, being next to Syria is also more easily accessible for people coming from countries farther to the east, including mostly economic migrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees states that the top three nationalities were Syrian, Afghan and Iraq due to chain of conflicts that started back in 2011 that led to civil war and made the terms extremely hard for living. This was a trigger point that led to the crisis we still face today.

In the light of this crisis the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency ensured that refugees will receive the protection and assistance they need over the intermediate term while solutions are sought to end their exile.

Most recent move from the United Nations to date was made by the UN General Assembly which hosted a high-level summit on 19 September at UN Headquarters to address large movements of refugees and migrants, with the aim of bringing countries together behind a more humane and coordinated approach.

By early January 2016, more than 1 million refugees and migrants had crossed the Mediterranean, including more than 850,000 who arrived in Greece from Turkey. From January to July 2016 some 260,000 people had arrived in Southern Europe. The majority originate from countries affected by conflict, with 48 per cent of those who arrived in Greece originating from the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria), 25 per cent from Afghanistan, and 15 per cent from Iraq. Half of refugee children attend primary school, 22 per cent and only 1 per cent of refugee adolescents receive secondary education. These are not simple numbers and mathematics and cannot be seen as such. These are human lives, precious and unique!

As the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi once said: ‘
'Refugees have skills, ideas, hopes and dreams. They are also tough, resilient and creative, with the energy and drive to shape their own destinies, given the chance’’.

*Does the arrival of refugees represent an economical weight for all of Europe or an influx of new educated and young work force?

*What solution is the most sustainable one in an ongoing crisis of this scale?

*Will mixing of cultures bring prosperity to Europe at some point or just continue to feed the extremist right parties and further divide the western and the eastern cultures?




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