Posts Tagged: Refugees

The Moonlanding

“I’ll be the first Palestinian woman to land on the moon,” she states with a wry smile. The world – and space – lies at her feet, as in theory it does for children all over the world. But these particular legs are standing on shaky ground. Her legs are in Lebanon, more specifically, they’re… Read more »

Give Us Your Phone and We May Grant You Asylum

Images of refugees using smartphones have now become common in the Western media landscape, and everybody seems to have learned that refugees and migrants, too, use smartphones. Indicative of this awareness, European governments are now looking into how to make use of these assets in their identity checks and in the processing of asylum seekers’… Read more »

The End Of Migrants As We Know Them?

The UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants holds the promise of progress. But ahead of the summit, communications staff were pushing a warped view of migrant diversity. Even the International Organization of Migration (IOM) is straying from its mission to uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants. When migration issues rose to the top of… Read more »

The Humanitarian Quest for Accountability: Examining the role of UNHCR

The European refugee crisis has been a difficult experience for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). On the one hand, UNHCR has been criticized by civil society and the humanitarian community for not being present on Greek islands. On the other hand, the organization has experienced difficulties in negotiating this access with Greek… Read more »

The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal is Costly – Especially for the Refugees

The agreement reflects the EU’s self-interest just as much as Turkey’s, but takes little account of the interests and rights of the refugees. On Friday 18 March, Turkey and the EU concluded a deal designed to put an end to refugees’ use of the sea route to travel from Turkey to Greece, because the route… Read more »

Seeing Flight as a Non-violent Option: One Way to Change the Discourse about the World’s 60 Million Refugees

Today, one in every 122 humans living on the planet is a refugee, an internally displaced person, or an asylum-seeker. In 2014, conflict and persecution forced a staggering 42,500 persons per day to leave their homes and seek protection elsewhere, resulting in 59.5 million total refugees worldwide. According to the UN refugee agency’s 2014 Global… Read more »

Governments Don’t Outsource Atrocities to Militias. Here’s What Really Happens

Refugees are fleeing Syria in such astonishing numbers because armed groups continue to target civilians with violence. That’s what we heard in September when the U.N. Human Rights Council discussed the most recent report of the Commission of Inquiry on Syria. The commission’s chair, Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, made a plea for international action to end… Read more »

Merkel Should Win the Nobel Peace Prize

Odds on who’s going to win the Nobel Peace Prize, to be awarded on Friday, are so hard to make that one could easily arbitrage various bookmakers. I’m not a betting man, but I hope the prize goes to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. She’s the favorite now, with average odds of about 6-1, and she deserves to… Read more »

Practical Compassion in the Age of Crisis

The news from last week was bleak. Fleeing violence and chaos in the Middle East, horrific accounts detailed the tragic fates of countless people seeking refuge in Europe. Thousands have perished along the way, and many survivors have found themselves in dangerous conditions upon arrival in Europe. Some state reactions have been appallingly inhumane, and… Read more »