Making Decisions - The Migrant Crisis?

What Can We Do about The Migration Crisis?


Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), The sea route to Europe: The Mediterranean passage in the age of refugees , 1 July 2015

  • Look at the photograph and find 5 things that you think standout.
  • What do you think the photograph is showing?
  • What does this have to do with the Migration Crisis?

What Is Happening?

As you watch TV or read the internet it is easy to think that there is an army of people trying to get into the United Kingdom.

You might have seen around 3,000 migrants in France:

  • Trying to storm the entrance to The Channel Tunnel.
  • Sneaking into lorries or even caravans.
  • One man even fell to his death in London after hiding in the wheels of a plane from South Africa

Lots of politicians and other people are making a big fuss about this and saying it is the people in the United Kingdom that are the main people affected.

Well that is partly right but mostly wrong.

It is partly right because some people have suffered:

  • When migrants in France caused problems at the Channel Tunnel large traffic jams built up in Kent.
  • Lorry drivers suffer most:

o   They can get caught up in the huge traffic jams using time and fuel.

o   They can be fined tens of thousands of pounds if migrants break into their lorries and they are          caught.

o   They can be forced to cover the cost of destroyed loads when migrants break into lorries and             sleep on top of loads such as food or have to use part of the lorry as a toilet.


Photo by Gémes Sándor/SzomSzed used under CC BY

Operation Stack

The huge traffic jams are part of a police plan called operation stack where lorries have to wait in huge lines along motorways until they can get to the Channel Tunnel or onto ferry boats to France.


Photo by Barry Davis used under CC BY

Big News

  • In August 2015 Germany announced that it expected at least 650,000 applications for asylum in 2015.
  • It might even reach 800,000 the German Government ha warned.
  • Sweden takes the most refugees after Germany and expects 80,000 in 2015.
  • Up until August more than 240,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea in 2015, arriving on the shores of Greece and Italy.
  • In one week alone in August, 21,000 migrants arrived in Greece, according to the United Nations.

Why is the UK affected so much?

59.5 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced at the end of 2014, as a result of persecution, conflict and human rights violations, the highest level on record. That was 8.3 million people more than at the end of 2013: the biggest annual increase ever in a single year. 19.5 million of those people were refugees. EU countries hosted a relatively small share of that number. At the end of 2014, the world’s top refugee host was Turkey, followed by Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia and Jordan. Lebanon hosted by far the largest number of refugees by population, 232 per 1,000 inhabitants. Worldwide, 86 per cent of the refugees under UNHCR’s mandate lived in developing countries.

UNHCR Global Trends 2014, World at War

LAST YEAR 2014 ASYLUM REQUESTS (EU and Other Western European Countries)


Wow 6th place we are doing pretty well!

Or are we?

How will this work out if we compared it to the size of a country measured by its existing population?

This shows asylum applications per million people in a country.


Ouch 19th place and that is just in Europe!


Remember these are asylum requests in 2014 what about the decisions? Did they all get approved?

These are the first instance decisions (some decisions might be changed on appeal)


Source: Eurostat, Asylum in the EU: Facts and Figures, March 2015

So the UK turns down 61% of the people who apply for asylum.


Pupil Activity

We are in the middle of a global crisis; use the numbers from this article in a simple table to say how the UK is doing as a major developed world nation in contributing to the global crisis.

Good Bad

Are we doing a good job as a nation?

After reading all three articles and carrying out the activities. Use the accompanying A3 sheet to help you to carry out a Decision Making Exercise.

Eurostat Asylum PDF

Eurostat Migration PDF

UN Report PDF



Decision Making Exercise

Either in class or at home read and complete the activities in the online resource article and in the linked articles in this edition of Geography in the News. Attempt to complete all of the activities in the resource sheet.

What you will learn:

  • You will increase your knowledge about migration and asylum in the EU/UK
  • You will increase your understanding of how these factors may affect human beings and human activities
  • You will have you the opportunity to learn or practice important literacy and numeracy skills.

You will learn new geographical terms highlighted in purple these should be learned and added to a glossary. A glossary is a list of words and their meanings. You could have one in the back of your geography exercise book, if you have a planner it is probably a good place to keep a glossary, or you may keep a separate glossary or word book. A good glossary helps you build your vocabulary and your literacy. Research meanings using related article content, discussion or a dictionary (either online or a book).


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