Outline of Refugee Policies
Refugee policy and asylum seeking remain to be one of the most controversial human rights issues in the contemporary world. This is especially the case after the breakout of the Syrian crisis which has seen more than five million Syrians leave their homes and their country to become asylum seekers in other parts of the world. Most of the refugees have fled to Turkey and Lebanon, with Turkey becoming the biggest refugee hosting country in the world with more than 2.1 million Syrian refugees within its borders.
Based on the available statistics, there were more than 19.6 million refugees across the world. Syrians have become the largest refugee group overtaking Afghan refugees by more than 1.3 million people. The afghan refugees were the world’s largest refugee group in the world for a little more than 3 decades.
There are several challenges that refugees face even when they are granted asylum in other countries. The problems are exacerbated when the refugees come from regions that are hotbeds of terrorism. The refugees face a wide array of medical problems including but not limited to PTSD, depression, and a high risk of suicide.
There have also been reports of refugees being exploited by the same people who should be protecting them. There have been numerous reports of child labor, child trafficking, human rights violations, and sexual exploitation. With the current terrorism scares, most of the refugees can be subject to xenophobia and mistreatment because of their religion or country of origin.
Various refugee policies are at the center of the refugee problem and sometimes prove to be a little contentious.
1. Legal Protections
This section will delve into the implications and limitations of the ‘responsibility to protect’ policy that is arguably the most enduring policy that affects refugees across the world. The international community is mandated with the responsibility of protecting citizens from a country when that country fails or is unwilling to protect its citizens.
2. Provision of humanitarian aid
There is a dilemma involving how to best provide humanitarian aid or provide protection when some of the resources are diverted to propel the conflict. There is also the problem of offering the aid when the aid workers are being targeted by the warring parties. Under these circumstances, the international aid workers are in a tight spot as to whether they should involve international military for protection or not. The former choice usually violates the principles of impartiality and neutrality that international aid agencies are supposed to uphold.
States are only willing to take in refugees under the guise of temporary protection. The issue becomes contentious because it is difficult to determine when it is moral and acceptable to return refugees to their countries. This section will discuss when non-refoulement becomes a hurdle for peaceful refugee transition into normal livelihoods.
Russell, S.S. (2002, Nov 1st). Refugees: risks and challenges worldwide. Migration Policy Institute. Retrieved on 19/11/2015 from http://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/refugees-risks-and-challenges-worldwide