Monday, February 06, 2017

Europe's ongoing refugee crisis

The tragedy and horror of the refugee crisis in Europe continues. Greece: Refugee deaths prompt calls for action at overcrowded camps Aljazeera English 02/05/2017

The refugee crisis will not be solved and the real humanitarian crisis that it is will not be adequately addressed without a much broader European cooperation, i.e., cooperation within the EU. Dumping the problem on Greece and Turkey, which is Angela Merkel's current extend-and-pretend solution, is grossly inadequate. Inter Press Service reports (Europe Urged to Address ‘Tragic’ Loss of Lives in Mediterranean 02/03/2017):

European leaders should take decisive action to address the tragic loss of life on the Central Mediterranean route and the deplorable conditions for migrants and refugees in Libya, urged two major United Nations agencies dealing with migrants and refugees.

“To better protect refugees and migrants, we need a strong European Union that is engaged beyond its borders to protect, assist and help find solutions for people in need,” said the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in a joint statement.

“This includes building capacity to save lives at sea or on land, strengthening the rule of law and fighting against criminal networks.”
Baher Kamal, also from Inter Press Service, described the dimensions of the crisis a few months ago in Dying to Get to Europe Inter Press Service 10/29/2016:
They are so desperate that trusting the promises of human traffickers comes almost naturally to them. After all these human traffickers are the very people who lure them to the ‘promised land.’ They sell whatever they can of their modest belongings, including agricultural land, borrow money from their poor family members to deliver cash to the inhumane smugglers for their journey abroad.

But then many, too many of them die in their attempts. The death toll of those crossing the Mediterranean has now, once again, hit an all-time high.

With just two months to the end of 2016, and despite a substantial drop in the number of migrants and refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean, the number of people losing their lives has witnessed a three-fold overall increase this year and, in one particular route, by more than five-fold, the United Nations refugee agency has just reported. ...

This high loss of life comes despite a large overall fall this year in the number of people seeking to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. Last year at least 1,015,078 people made the crossing. This year so far, crossings stand at 327,800.

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