In a remarkable and praise worthy gesture , European Union governments are likely to agree in principle to give shelter to around 1,60,000 migrant refugees from crisis ridden regions such as West Asia, Africa and Afghanistan. It is reported that Germany, France and Spain would absorb the biggest number of refugees. Britain and Denmark have invoked their special rights under European Law to stay out of the system , though they are reported to be willing to take refugees under other arrangements.
World should salute Germany :
The Government of Germany has agreed to permit thousands of migrant refugees from strife torn countries to enter Germany and live in Germany, even as other European countries were hesitant initially, though they also viewed the problems of these migrants with sympathy and understanding. With regard to the response to the refugee issues in Europe, Germany stands out as the country that has responded spontaneously with great sense of responsibility towards suffering humanity. The world should salute Germany for this.
Is it a calculated risk for European countries ?
While the approach of a few countries in Europe in dealing with the migrants have received spontaneous appreciation from cross section of people around the world, one is not sure as to whether these countries have handled the situation emotionally , instead of based on careful assessment of the ground realities . Atleast some people think that these countries have taken a calculated risk.
Rich countries in Europe like Germany and France with strong and vibrant economy will not face any particular economic problems as thousands of migrants become inmates in the respective countries . But, the social and cultural issues that would arise in integrating the refugees with the mainstream of national life , are bound to have several short term and long term implications that may even disturb the social balance in these countries to a considerable extent.
One immediate impact of the proactive approach of a few European countries is that more migrants would be encouraged to leave their strife torn countries and seek asylum in Germany, France, Spain and other countries in Europe. In case, these European countries would refuse to admit refugees beyond a maximum number, those who praise them today today may over night become critics. This would be a hard decision to take that would be faced by these countries between their feelings of compassion and the practical problems that would arise by admitting people of different religious background , ethos and cultural practices.
Obviously, almost all the migrant refugees would be seeking asylum without proper documents and even without passports. In such circumstances, it is almost impossible to judge as to whether all these refugees are genuine persons or miscreants or even members of the terrorist outfits. It is also possible that people from other countries may use this benevolent attitude of some European countries to seek refugee status for their own reasons and they may not be from the regions of conflicts and countries facing war like situation.
It is highly disturbing to know that several middlemen and dishonest agencies are using this “opportunity” to smuggle people into European countries and most of such people are reported to be moved in extremely tortuous , unhygienic and unsafe conditions. European countries which are promising to admit refugees have the grim task of not falling into the trap of unscrupulous smugglers of people.
U N O conspicuous by near silence :
Another disturbing aspect is that while thousands of migrant refugees are moving out of their countries seeking asylum elsewhere, the United Nations Organisation which is supposed to be finding solutions for such problems, is conspicuous by it’s near silence. This is one more instance to show that United Nations is increasingly becoming a cosmetic body that appears to be simply looking at the developing situation around the world with helplessness. UNO is now seen by many people as a mere discussion forum with least impact on the ground scenario and the present refugee issue in Europe would only reinforce this view.
It is very important that United Nations should play an active role in working out a strategy to deal with such migrant refugees issues. Instead of doing so, these problems are left to the countries involved to sort them out each in it’s own way. Such conditions only add to the confused scenario with the unfolding events creating more uncertainty and anxiety everywhere.
Need for pragmatic approach :
One tends to think that the pragmatic approach to such refugee issues is that the refugees should be counselled to stay on in their own countries and should be advised that making themselves refugees and running to another country may only further accentuate the problem for them as well as the host countries and the refugees will face long term uncertainties and even hostile local population.
Activate U N peace force :
It is necessary that United Nations should take a very strong view on such unrest in any particular country , where bloody conflicts become the order of the day. The present rush of refugees in Europe once again highlight the fact that such conflicts in individual countries cannot be ignored, as they are bound to have global implications .
United Nations has a peace force which should act positively and even aggressively in the conflict ridden countries to enforce peace, that would avoid exodus of refugees.
One only wish that leadership of the United Nations Organisations have the clout and moral strength to enforce peace in the conflict ridden regions. Is UNO facing a leadership crisis itself ?
Today, European countries are paying a price for the conflicts elsewhere and they seem to be reacting more with compassion than with hard headed realistic strategies.
It is high time that the European countries should appreciate the need for strong UN peace keeping force and should take steps to strengthen UNO, to make it function as an effective peace enforcing organisation around the world.
Nandini Voice For The Deprived
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