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2016-06-20

World Refugee Day: How Europe is (not) dealing with the world's refugees and migrants

Thousands of refugees queue for food in the Yarmouk camp, 2014.


Today is World Refugee Day, 2016.

Here are my thoughts on how Europe is (not) dealing with refugees:

1: We should help as many real refugees as possible. The best way to do that is to build new (and improve existing) camps and cities in unused areas in LOW-COST countries, and make sure that they have a decent quality of life while waiting to return to their countries.

Helping someone in e.g. Norway​ can cost 30-40 times more than in e.g. a country like Lebanon​. And we can only spend money once, so the rational choice is always to spend it where it's most effective.

So - by letting a refugee into Western Europe, we are effectively kicking dozens of other refugees in the face while telling them that "We picked out this ONE guy and we don't care at all about the rest of you."

Instead we should do the rational thing, namely to help as many people as we can. Therefore we can NOT not spend unfathomable amounts of money on the privileged refugees who have the health, money and possibility to get into Europe.

Because left in war-torn regions are those who are too poor, too sick or too afraid to go anywhere. And it's them we are now consciously and actively abandoning. It's obscene and beyond tragic.

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2: According to the UNHCR​ there are over 65 million refugees in the world.

Even though we want to, we can't help these in a long-term or sustainable way by disrupting an already heavily strained European economy and system by letting in millions of refugees. Most of them will cost the system a lot of money because they can't get jobs, either because of lack of skills or other factors.

For example the average Somalia​n immigrant in Norway costs over 1 million euro, while the average Romania​n immigrant will actually integrate well and contribute to our economy.

The rational thing to do is to support people in camps and cities in low-cost countries, so that we can help many more real refugees.

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3: We need to be able to send economic migrants back to their countries in a swift, effective and humane way. European countries must be able to screen and deny migrants access to help. Biometric identification should be introduced, so it will be easy to know if someone is using a fake identity. A clear signal must be sent out that migrants will not be let into Europe, and that trying to do so is useless.

It's completely understandable that everyone wants a better quality of life - but for every migrant we take in there are at least 25-30 real refugees who are not getting ANY help at all. It's irrational and inhumane to help migrants as long as real refugees are not getting the help they need.

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4: The UNHCR​ is chronically underfunded. Time and time again the agency asks for funding in order to better help the refugees they serve - and never receives enough.

It seems obvious to me that we must stop spending money on "expensive" refugees and migrants in western countries, and rather send as much of the aid as possible via UNHCR, which should be 100% funded at all times.

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5: Additionally, clear cultural problems arise when a strict, clan-based, undemocratic and patriarchic mentality from many countries in Africa and the Middle East "clash" with our soft and progressive social democracies.

This has already led to e.g. tons of sexual assaults on women in western countries. And it will lead to many more, committed by migrants and refugees from cultures with a very different view on the fairer sex.

Also, a new phenomena in Europe are the mass sexual attacks that we've seen in recent years, sometimes referred to as "taharrush jamai". Female victims in Germany describe their experiences in this video, and it was originally seen in Islamic countries like Egypt.

As an example - after the New Years Eve sexual attacks in Cologne, authorities concluded that only four of the 153 suspects involved were German citizens. So 97% were foreigners, and almost half them (68 people) were asylum seekers. 47 people had an "unknown" visa status, plus an additional 18 who were in Germany illegally.


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