Migrants? Many are refugees escaping from countries which the British government has helped to destabilise

According to the UN, the overwhelming majority of these people are escaping war. The largest group are fleeing Syria, a country in which an estimated 220,000 to more than 300,000 people have been killed during its appalling and escalating war. Many others come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Eritrea and Somalia – all places from which people are commonly given asylum.

As a reader reminded us today, refugees have rights under The 1951 Convention and 1967 Protocol (extract below) and migrants do not – so ‘relabelling’ is advantageous to states who wish to avoid their legal obligations.

unhcr2 refugee rights

A very large number of refugees are fleeing from unimaginable misery and danger and a smaller number of people are trying to escape the sort of poverty that drives some to desperation.

Colin Yeo and other members of the immigration team at London’s Garden Court Chambers set up a blog to cover these subjects, with several graphs, one of which shows how very far from the truth is the media/state conveyed impression that Britain is number one destination and is being ‘swamped’..

resettle 2syrian refugees

So far this year, nearly 340,000 refugees have crossed Europe’s borders. A large number, but still only 0.045% of Europe’s total population of 740 million.

Contrast that with Turkey, which hosts 1.8 million refugees from Syria alone, Lebanon, in which there are more than one million Syrians and even Iraq, struggling with its own ‘war’, is home to more than 200,000 people who have fled its neighbour.

As Barry Malone on Al-Jazeera says: “There are no easy answers and taking in refugees is a difficult challenge for any country but, to find solutions, an honest conversation is necessary”.

But much of that conversation is shaped – distorted – by the media

For reasons of accuracy, the director of news at Al Jazeera English, Salah Negm, has decided that the word migrant will no longer be used in this context. Instead, where appropriate, they will say ‘refugee’.

The wording is correct but – terminology sorted – how can these huge destabilisations be redressed?

 

Posted on September 1, 2015, in Arms trade, EU, Foreign policy, Government, Legal issues, Media, Military matters, warfare and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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