From refugee to returnee

Desperate Syrian Refugees Return To War Zone-BBC News (2015 October 12) Retrieved October 30, 2015 from

For years thousands of desperate migrants have been forced to leave the dangerous conditions of their home country in search of a better future. The violence and war like conditions in countries such as Syria have become so severe that thousands are making the drastic decision to flee. These families face the risk of death from unsafe conditions while travelling, and once at the borders they are faced with brutality from border patrol agents. As dangerous as this process is, refugees face this path because of a belief that they will be one of the success stories. For an increasing number of refugees, however, the quest for freedom is short lived. They find themselves without resources or social support to survive the journey and are being forced to go back to the very country they are trying to escape. This can be one of the hardest decisions a refugee can make because they are willfully going back to a war zone. Some families are being split apart with some members continuing forward to leave and others going back. It almost seems as there are no good options for these refugees. As if the decision to return to Syria wasn’t difficult enough, refugees who are deciding to go back to Syria are forced to make this a permanent decision. It’s a one way ticket back because they must agree to waive all future efforts at seeking asylum. Although they know they will never get another chance at escape, the number of returnees has skyrocketed. “In July, the average was 66 a day but in August the figured nearly doubled to 129. It has since remained over 100” (Knell, 2015).

The theme of exclusion and inclusion is very apparent in this trend of refugees becoming returnees. Refugees find that they simply cannot survive being excluded and oppressed. They began the process aware that it wouldn’t be easy, but never imagined that exclusion could prove to be formidable and impossible to overcome. They have made the decision to return to their home countries because although they will be in the middle of danger, they will have the comfort that inclusion brings. They will have support and inclusion in a society of peers that is facing the same hopeless fate. Inclusion in the middle of a war zone is more appealing than exclusion in a quest for asylum. This is a bold example of the influence that exclusion and inclusion brings. It’s a force that cannot be denied, and it is causing refugees to change the path of their lives and futures. Although it is hard to imagine the plight of a refugee, the strength and faith of these migrants is something to be admired.

3 thoughts on “From refugee to returnee

  1. nancywaldridge says:

    Unfortunately I don’t know much about refugees, but I enjoyed your comment about your chosen article. I can’t believe these people have had to return because they can’t survive being excluded. There’s almost a sense of irony isn’t there?


  2. ollysalder says:

    Like you said, this has to be the hardest decision, whatever the reason, to voluntarily go back into an active war zone as an unarmed civilian to a home, possibly without the rest of your family, with no possibility of every seeking asylum again. I can even imagine. I mean I’ve volunteered to go to a war zone, but not to live in the middle of it with out self protection, and knowing that every day will be a struggle to survive, where will my food, water, supplies come from? Things we as Americans take for granted and easily criticize others for. Great Article and very god points.


  3. AJ says:

    I can’t believe that these innocent people are running all over the place looking for freedom and trying to be safe. I agree with you and your discussion. I feel bad for these innocent people because they have no choice, leaving their countries won’t even lead to something good so they decided to return to their own cities which is more danger. These people go through danger in their homes because they don’t have a choice of leaving. I like the title of this article, “From Refugee to Returnee”. Well, I bet these people are suffering a lot from danger but they can’t run away because they won’t even find a place to stay. These innocent people need help and I think somebody or all of us should stand up for something good. Way to go on your discussion, I really do enjoy reading it although it is very sad.


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