Beyond Asylum: Rethinking Protection Policies to Meet Sharply Escalating Needs (Transatlantic Council Statement). (2015, June 1). Retrieved October 26, 2015
This article (report) by Demetrios G. Papademetriou, shows both sides of the coin when it comes to the current policies put in place regarding refugee and/or people seeking asylum. The report speaks of the current policies that affect the asylee and the countries that would be granting them refugee or asylee status. The article speaks on the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Transatlantic Council on Migration and their current standing on the growing crisis. Both the UN and the Transatlantic Council are speaking to the numerous EU states of Europe and any other country/state that is currently dealing the migration crisis.
In the article ‘Macedonia Migrants: Hundreds Rush the Border’ a spokesman for the Greek government is quoted in saying “We are allowing entry to a number that matches our capacity to transport them or to give them appropriate medical care and treatment.” The Transatlantic Council met specifically to deal with the issue raised above, what does a small country or a country already with needs and crises of their own do with all of these refugees. I know a lot of people think that policymakers are just politicians and do not have the people’s interest at heart. However when it comes to the UN and the Transatlantic Council, that is their job, the people. Without policies and guidelines in place for these countries being bombarded with people, then there is chaos and crisis management happening. Were with a plan and policies in places, there will hopefully be less injuries, loss of life and emotionally/mental damages occurring to the people. The Council main view was for both national governments and international representatives to look beyond the “old ways” of doing things (traditional territorial asylum) and seek modern day answers for our modern day problem.
The current policies in place for refugees and asylum seeking people were written in the 1950s and 1960s when our world was a different place; geopolitically, international politics and civil war areas. The old way of looking at refugees was “care and maintenance”; patch lose who were physically broken and minimal food and healthcare afterwards. The new approach focused on the following; “invest in sustainable livelihoods and better living conditions for both refugees and host communities in the crisis region; widen legal channels for protection and consider alternative ways for refugees to submit claims or move onward; and build fair and efficient asylum adjudication, reception, and return policies.” The idea behind these new policies is protection and a better way of life, the key elements of what I think makes you a refugee in the first place. Most refugees, as the other reading sources explained, are seeking protection from political tyrants, religious persecution, and corrupt governments.
I am currently taking a global social problems class and regional geography class which both have discussed indepth the both mentioned crisis and the different ways in which it is being handled. Therefore, reading the articles was not shocking or surprising to me, they were simply further information on a topic that has been heavily discuss in my classes this semester and last semester. The BBC article regarding the verbiage of migration was interesting. However, I think that often we place too much value on a single word or phrase. I believe we (as the people in the situation) give power to words. As the article stated there are stereotypes and ‘casting’ issues throughout the world regarding the words; immigrant, migrant, refugee, aslyee, etc. But regionally those words hold different meaning and value, i.e. here in the Southwest immigrant has a common standing in our vocabulary and not the social stigma that it would say in the mid-west. I don’t think that we will ever have just one word to explain situations as these, due to them being regionally and culturally based.