Biggest Challenges Facing Refugees and Asylum Seekers

refugee crisisIt is very likely that you have seen the images, the images of refugees coming from their home countries. They take with them what they can, the burden of running away from a home consumed in conflict and uncertainty being among them. Because the movement of refugees and asylum seekers is usually a matter of emergency,, offers a swift and stress free moving in times of emergencies.

But who exactly are refugees and asylum seekers? According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), a refugee is someone who has been forced to move out of their country due to war, persecution or violence. On other hand, an asylum seeker is someone who leaves their country and seeks asylum from another country by applying for asylum, which is the right to be regarded as a refugee and hence receive material assistance as well as legal protection.

So, what are some of the challenges that refugees and asylum seekers face?


Raising their children in an unfamiliar culture

This is one of the biggest challenges that asylum seekers and refugees face. Children easily can easily adopt the new culture which may be different from their own culture. In addition children can easily pick up the new language compared to their parents who may take a while before they become conversant in the new language. This is a challenge because most parents would love for their children to learn and be conversant with their own language and culture and not to pick the language of foreigners and forget their own.

Issues to do with their children’s school only add up to this challenge. The refugee children are often bullied at school and may also take a while before they catch up with school work for obvious reasons.


Finding employment

Most asylum seekers and refugees will be happy to take any available job. However, the bad news is that finding a job when you are a refugee or an asylum seeker can be extremely difficult. One of the reason for this difficulty in securing employment is the lack of knowledge I the language of the country that they have fled to. This may be frustrating to the refugees and asylum seekers who were educated and formally employed back in their home countries.

Even after securing a job, most refugees and asylum seekers are discriminated against and exploited at the workplace. Some employers also take advantage of the sense of urgency and desperation of the refugees and asylum seekers and they make them take roles which are less desirable and sometimes dangerous.


There are many reasons why refugees and asylum seekers feel lonely and isolated from the rest of the world. Can you imagine losing your identity, status, career or job, family, friends and social networks?  Refugees and asylum seekers go through all this and on top of this, they have no access to resources and services, face cultural differences and are discriminated and stigmatized.

All these challenges lead to them feeling lonely and isolated and ultimately negatively affecting their health. The feeling of loneliness is linked to reduction in the quality of life and increased mortality.

One of the ways of helping refugees and those seeking asylum is by improving their access to further education and language. This will enable them to build social relationships because they would have dealt with the language barrier.











Ways to Solve World Refugee Crisis

RefugeesAccording to statistics, about 65 million people were forced to vacate their homes due to disaster and conflict last year. This means that, in every passing minute, 24 people become refugees.

The refugee situation is what led 148 countries to sign the Refugee Convention in 1951. Even though these counties signed to this convention promised to protect the rights of refugees, the reality is actually the opposite. Many refugees nowadays are denied the rights to live independent lives, a majority of them are supported by the international organization and majority of them are not permitted to cater for their own needs.

To add salt to injury, most refugees nowadays do not get to enjoy the freedom of movement even though they are entitled to it according to the international law.

Today, the number of refugees and displaced people are more than any other time since the World War II. Therefore there is a need to find the solution to this crisis before it escalates. The following are some of the ways to solve the refugee crisis in the world today.


Grant asylum to those who need it

Nobody should be denied the right to seek asylum in another country as seeking asylum is a human right. The process involved in seeking asylum should also be free and fair so as to ensure that those who actually need it get it. Many asylum seekers spend years waiting for an answer from the country that they are seeking asylum while others are sent back to their countries despite the real danger that they could face in their countries.


Saving lives

The leaders of the world need to ensure that saving lives is their priority. Nobody should ever have to die while crossing the border because the country they are passing does not care. For instance, in May 2015, while Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia were still bickering o who should come to the aid of people who were fleeing persecution in Myanmar, these people suffered for weeks while they were on their boats. Governments can avoid such cases by being quick to act and helping people who are in distress.


Stop blaming refugees

Most times, governments blame the refugees when their country is facing a social or economic problem. They shift blame on the refugees instead of dealing with the issues to do with racial discrimination and every kind of xenophobia that exists in their country. This is extremely to the refugees. In addition, blaming refugees brings about tension and also the fear of foreigners and may eventually lead to violence and even worse, death.

The refugee crisis should be addressed first before looking at what can be done so as to reduce the number of people fleeing their country every year. It is also important to remember that no human being is illegal.









Basic Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Human rightsRefugees and asylum seekers are people who seek protection and residence outside their country because of fear of persecution in their own country. Such fear may be because of their political, social, religious, gender and nationality standings.  Refugees may flee from their country because of wars ignited by political and religious differences.  Do they have rights in the counties they reside in? Should they enjoy the same rights as other citizens?

Refugees have rights.  There are bodies such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees that ensure governments take care of refugees, and most importantly, they do not close their doors to those seeking asylum.  Everyone should be aware of refugee rights to avoid violating them and also to protect the refugees from those who may want to discriminate on them. What are the rights of refugees?

The Right to Protection

This is a fundamental right for every refugee and asylum seeker. Protection does not only involve a safe shelter but not being forced back to the mother country especially when the refugee faces the same challenges. Governments should also go a step further to ensure refugees enjoy the same protection as other legal migrants and do not get discriminated.

Right to Basic Necessities

Every refugee should have food, shelter, clothing, and education for school going, children. Refugees also have the right to have their immediate family members, that is the spouse and children join them and access to quality and timely medical care.

The Right to Life and Liberty

A refugee should not be constrained in one place but they have a right to expression, liberty, thinking, and freedom from any dehumanizing acts. They also have a right to work and enjoy social amenities just like other citizens.

 Right to Justice

HumanA refugee has the right to justice from the entire law system in the country of residence. When an injustice is committed against a refugee, the police should investigate and carry out the required measures and give the incidence the attention it deserves. A refugee has the right to complain of an injustice by law enforcers, the justice system, other asylum seekers and citizens of the country he is residing in and have the complaints investigated.

Right to a Fast Integration Process

Refugees are first given asylum in a camp before the asylum government checks and decides whether they qualify to be given asylum. Although there is no stipulated timeframe, refugees should not be kept in the detention camps for long periods. Governments are urged to speed up the investigation process that gives applicants the right to become refugees and start a new life. When the claims are investigated and revoked, an applicant has the right to return to their own country on their own or have the government make the necessary travel arrangements.

It is not only the governments’ duty to ensure refugees’ rights are upheld but all citizens should respect and protect asylum seekers.   Bodies such as the UNHCR and other independent bodies in the country of refuge and globally ensure that this happens because human rights belong to everyone including refugees and asylum seekers.