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FEAR! How Most European States are Responding to the Refugee Crisis.

Updated on January 11, 2020

FEAR! How Most European States are Responding to the Refugee Crisis.

With the increasing numbers of refugees', European states have managed to restrict and limit refugee's arrival by, building barbed-wire topped fences and setting up barriers along borders. Barriers have been justified in the language of border security. States need protection due to the aspect of viewing refugees as terrorists, insurgents and constrain on the politics, economics and social factors of the hosting countries. Furthermore, several European countries including Balkan states are closing down paths that refugees have used to get to Europe, leaving hundreds of thousands of refugees out of options. Fences, barriers and the shutdown of routes have only entrenched and exacerbated human rights abuses under International law and the flow of refugees into Europe. These form of “protection” are not the solution to the current international crisis, as long as there is violence, the flow of refugees will proceed as such, states need to find better methods to protect individuals fleeing war and persecution. Europe’s rejection of taking responsibility for refugees will result in the tragic victory of fear over humanity.

A world of Fences

We live in a world of fences and walls that have gone up around the world. 750 miles of anti-immigrant fencing has been started by European countries. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has condemned these actions, stating that fences will not stop refugee's arrival she also, accused European governments of yielding to prejudice and ignoring their own history. International organizations such as Amnesty International also criticized Europe on their isolationist policies mentioning that these measures result in human rights violations. Actions have been taken against Poland, Hungary and, Czech Republic for refusing to take in refugees. A recent report by Amnesty titled Fear and Fences revealed how fencing off land borders and denying access to asylum has put refugees and migrants at risk by pushing them towards life-threatening sea journeys.

Hungary’s New anti-immigrant Fence

In 2015 Hungry established its first barbed wire fence with Serbia, then among its borders with Croatia. It recently finished building a second double-layer barrier stretching for 155 kilo-Metres. The Hungarian President Janos Ader has signed a bill that allows migrants to be detained in camps, it also allows police officers to send migrants back to Serbia. The Hungarian government has also deployed 500 border officers that have the authority to detain asylum seekers until they are clear to get in. Serbia is widely affected by Hungary’s lack of corporation, especially with the implantation of this new bill. Hungary limited the number of refugees from 200 in 2015 to 10 in 2017 putting more pressure on the Serbian government. Unlike Hungary, Serbia is a poor country with a minimum capacity of settling refugees meaning, if Hungary fails to share the burden, Serbia will fall back in a state of chaos. More than 8,000 asylum seekers are stuck in Serbia trying to gain access to Europe, but with Hungary’s new strict policies, migrants are struggling to get in.

United Nations, human rights groups and most European governments have widely criticized, detention camps, the implementation of an electrified fence and the horrific treatments by police officers on borders. Reports on police officers have displayed how asylum seekers were beaten up, handcuffed and given bad injuries. Refugees were also told that crossing the border without submitting their applications in the transit zones would be considered a crime in Hungary. In transit zones, only a handful of application is accepted leaving many behind. Refugees are left in dreadful situations, mostly Eastern European governments have been accused by international organizations for dealing with this international crisis in an inhumane way. What most countries need to realize that implementing fences and responding with fear will not curb the current issue, it would rather enhance it. Slovenia, Croatand Macedonia have announced that their governments will not enable refugees to get in through the Greece border resulting in approximately 15,000 refugees and migrants stranded at borders.

Europe’s gatekeepers

Refugees attempt at entering Greece, Bulgaria and, Spain has mostly been pushed back, this act is not only considered illegal but also a feature of any European state located on important migration routes. Along, Bulgaria-Turkey and Greece-Turkey borders reports of push backs remain viable. Spain has adopted measures carried out by Spanish guards which, legalize the push backs of refugees and migrants in 2015. The Moroccan border officers have also mistreated refugees trying to cross the fences surrounding the Spanish enclaves. Turkey and Europe proposed its most recent deal Joint Action Plan which is to detain asylum seekers and forcibly return refugees to Iraq and Syria.

Recommendations to Europe

European countries should implement a range of realistic and achievable methods to manage this migration crisis. Europe also needs to take responsibility according to International Law to ensure the protection of refugees who arrive on Mainland to Europe. In fact, managing sea routes would identify any security threats long-way before the arrival of refugees'. Amnesty International has called on Europe to provide safe and legal routes, to end push backs and other human rights violations. Europe needs to stand in solidarity with refugees and the values it purports to hold.

© 2020 ZainabAga

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