The challenges and opportunities of the #RefugeeCrisis

| August 9, 2019

The refugee crisis has become a rising challenge and it has been stirring global politics, and there is no easy solution from a historical point of view. During World Refugee Day on 20 June this year, the United Nations released the latest data and statistics on the causes of refugee crisis. The data shows that there are more than 70 million individuals who were forcibly displaced worldwide because of wars, conflicts or persecutions. This has doubled the number of refugees in 20 years. Most of the displaced originate from countries like Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia.

The world today is now polarized to two extremes; the one side is a stable world and the other is turbulent. The stable world plays the role of a savior. On the other hand, a turbulent world is composed of those who despair. They look forward to stabilize the world but only when it is advantageous for them. However, it works the other way when they are seeking opportunities.

Clearly, not everyone understands that stability is the key to success.

In early June this year, Walter Lübcke, president of the Regierungsbezirk of Kassel in Germany was shot at home. During the investigation period, there were many political figures including the mayor of Cologne, who received death threat. As Lübcke was known for supporting the refugee policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the police speculated that his murder might be related to the extreme right-wing forces in Germany. This murder case has caused the German society to be wary of the far-right.

An annual report by the United Nations reveals that the number of refugees worldwide has reached a new high last year. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCRhas spoken out against the lack of co-operation on the refugee issue in some countries. Apart from 68.5 million refugees, there are still a large number of migrants abroad who are looking for a better working and living condition. According to data estimated by International Organization for Migration (IOM), the number of migrants worldwide has reached 258 million. Among the 68.5 million refugees, 41.3 million were internally displaced and 25.9 million were fleeing from wars and persecutions. There is an increase of 500,000 from the previous year. Based on the data published by UNHCR, one-third of the world’s refugees have actually fled to the poorest countries in the world but the rich countries have only received 16% of the refugees in total. There is a recent exile occurred in Central America where violence and hunger have caused people to flee to countries such as Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala. One of their destination is the United States. However, as they are not welcomed by President Donald Trump, most of the refugees are stranded at the U.S.-Mexico border.

China has also created the largest number of refugees in world history, and the recent wave of refugees occurred in the 1950s and 1960s in the last century. Refugees are undoubtedly a crisis for countries with stable structures because integration of the refugees to the society requires huge costs and it may affect the stability of the society’s structure. Nevertheless, refugees may not always be a crisis. World history is actually created by refugees and the most typical refugee country is the United States. Therefore, the refugee crisis can be a problem or an opportunity to others, based on the country’s development conditions.

After the Second World War, France welcomed a large number of writers and artists who had lost their home because of the war. Hence, Picasso and Sartre laid the conditions for the post-war French Renaissance. Besides that, Israel has congregated a large number of elite talents from all over the world, which contribute to today’s modern Israel. The former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe were just the opposite. Many cultural and technical talents perished, and this not only caused national strength of these regions to shrink, but also reduced the population. The Middle East used to be the most important cultural and artistic base but now it has the largest number of refugees in the world. The whereabouts of the few hundred thousand of Arab cultural elites remain unknown.

In summary, the refugee crisis will continue. This is an endless problem to every country and no one can stay out of it.

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Category: A Frontpage, EU, European Agenda on Migration, FRONTEX, Immigration, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Opinion, Refugees

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