A UN summit is going to take place in New York on the topic of refugees and migrants. Globally, the situation of refugees and asylum seekers has reached new proportions that require immediate attention.
The European continent has seen a wave of migration recently. This year, the EU has seen its borders flooded by people seeking entry. Some of them were refugees escaping the conflict in Syria. While others were economic migrants from North African countries.
The British Point of View
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May is one of those invited to attend the UN summit. She is going to take part in the forum as the UK has a stake in the migrant crisis. This year, Britain has opened its borders to refugees, but the Prime Minister is keen to set some terms regarding migration.
Theresa May is going to ask for a clearer definition of the word “migrant”. In her view there should be a greater distinction between refugees who are fleeing conflict and are types of migrants. She feels that language as well as regulation should take into account those who are trying to cross the border into a country for economic reasons.
Also, the Prime Minister is going to say that refugees ought to claim asylum in the first country that they reach that is safe enough to do so. She is going to stress the fact that each nation has as a sovereign right the right to control its borders.
The British Prime Minister has it on her agenda to give a warning regarding “unprecedented levels of population movement”. It is the view of the Prime Minister that these movements and the way they are taking place are detrimental. As they undermine the confidence of the public in the economic case that can be made for legal migration.
The Situation of Refugees
According to data by the United Nations, in recent years a record numbers of people have become refugees. These people, who are running out of the way of armed conflict, now have the status of refugees. The UN estimates say that at the end of 2015 65.3 million people worldwide were refugees or asylum seekers. A proportion of that number were internally displaced, unable to safely reach a border.
The numbers for the year 2015 show a 5 million increase in the number of refugees, compared to the previous year. The data for the year 2016 is not yet final, but another increase is likely.
The UN summit taking place for the cause of refuges and migrants is hoping to improve the performance of UN organizations. The UN has often received criticism for its slow response to humanitarian crises. It has also received criticism for providing less support than it is necessary to refugees. This has created situations where other organizations and even individuals stepped in. In places like Greece and Italy, for example, average people self-organized to provide help to those who needed it.
The goal for the UN summit is to find a way forward regarding the situation of the migrants. Also, to bring key players together to agree on a “more humane and coordinated approach”
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