According 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.
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.
Refugees 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
A 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.