We hear a lot about ‘Asylum Seekers’, ‘Refugees’ and ‘Economic Migrants’ in the UK.
One problem is that terms like these are often used wrongly, because people do not know what they mean or can mean.
The rules and definitions come from a document called the 1951 Geneva Convention (Refugee Convention) where a refugee is defined as a person who…
…owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence … is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.
All of these countries are suffering from war.
Once a migrant arrives in a country they have a ‘reasonable’ amount of time to ask for asylum. In the UK this is three days unless there is a good reason not to do so.
This helps a country decide if someone is ‘genuine’ in their belief that they need asylum.
A good reason could be if someone were held captive by people smugglers – sometimes called human traffickers.
Migrants might also find themselves trapped in the back of a lorry which is a good reason for not presenting themselves in the first country they enter.
We will discuss human traffickers further in the linked article and their importance in understanding increasing migrant numbers.
Asylum Seekers from South Sudan Registering at a UNHCR camp in neighbouring Sudan.
This camp is largely funded by the UK Government
There are two very important things to understand in terms of the International law and Asylum Seekers/Refugees:
When an asylum seeker reaches a safe country they should request asylum. They should then be issued with a Convention Travel Document, also known as a ‘blue document’ which is given to people with refugee status.
Many genuine asylum seekers do not register in the first ‘safe country’ they decide to try and reach developed countries by ‘non-legal’ means.
As a result many do not request asylum as their plan is to travel on to different countries such as Germany. These are the main illegal routes into the EU.
In many parts of the EU there are no internal borders; only the UK and the Republic of Ireland have borders with other EU countries.
The countries with no borders are called the Schengen countries after the town of Schengen where the agreement to get rid of borders was agreed.
Once a migrant gets into a Schengen country they can move freely from country to country. A very big problem!
The Asylum, Migration & Integration Fund is a 3.14 billion Euro pot of money to fund efficient management of migration flows within inside the EU.
So far 2.392 billion Euros have been allocated to different countries.
AMIF money graph in millions of Euros
Compare the figures from AMIF funding to the main article numbers of asylum seekers – look carefully at the UK.
Surely we need to stop migration!
Check this out from Eurostat the EU organisation in charge of statistics and data.
This is the EU without migration by 2060.
The EU has an aging population and not enough children are being born. Now check this out:
EU Population in Millions
Without migration how many workers will there be for each person needing a pension (YOU) in 2060.
Think about the Schengen area and the Schengen Countries.
Discuss these two questions with a small group and prepare your answers as 40 second mini-presentation with just words.