The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Are We Doing Enough?

The Syrian refugee crisis is a topic that dominated our twitter feeds and newspapers for weeks, so why aren’t we still talking about it?

The Syrian refugee crisis occurred in 2011 when the Arab Spring protest erupted after decades of being ruled under the Assad family. This resulted in civil war, in which the Syrian population found themselves trapped between the regime, the rebel groups, and the religious extremists. The brutal conflicts resulted in over 4 million Syrians fleeing their homes to seek safety. So what exactly have the developed nations done in response to the Syrian refugees? Well, it appears to be very little. In fact, 95% of Syrian refugee’s fled to Syria’s neighbouring countries, and the developing nations have taken in 86% of refugees. Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan are examples of this, as they have taken in 3.6 million refugees. 

The Syrian refugee crisis grabbed the attention of the media when a photo was released of a young Syrian boy, who was found dead on a beach in Turkey after drowning when trying to flee the armed conflict occurring in Syria. But, that boy is just one of thousands of children who have died or who have entailed a great amount of pain because of the conflict. This photo reached hundreds of people and the awful reality of what refugees have to endure was made clear. Many refugees have drowned while crossing the Mediterranean, and it was estimated that over 2,800 Syrians were found dead or missing in 2015, after attempting to flee their homes
The Dublin Regulation states that refugees can only apply for asylum in the first country that they arrive in, thus making it extremely difficult for refugees to receive any form of aid. However, in 2015 Germany stated that they will take in 800,000 Syrian refugees, regardless of what country they first arrived in. Britain has become an example of a nation that fails to help tackle the Syrian refugee crisis. The Red Cross estimated that approximately 117,234 refugees are living in the UK, which accounts for 0.18% of the total population. Out of the 0.18% of refugees living in the UK, only 38,878 are asylum seekers. This is less than Germany, who has 431,000 asylum seekers, and 163,000 in Sweden and Hungary. However, in Britain nearly half of asylum seekers are rejected, as they don’t fit the strict criteria that will allow refugees to claim asylum, and it is reported that the UK’s asylum system is one of the toughest in the world

It has become more apparent that the UK is resilient when it comes to taking in refugees after the controversial topic of dental checks were brought up. After the UK agreed to taking in a small portion of child refugees from the Calais refugee camp, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, David Davis proposed that the child refugees should be given dental checks or hand x-rays to check bone density, in order to ensure their age. Davis argued that this should be used to stop ‘Britain’s hospitality being abused.’ This tactic was extremely criticised, as it was deemed as ‘intrusive’ and unethical.’ All this evidence illustrates that the richer and more developed countries have failed the Syrian refugees. The refugee crisis is serious, as it is resulting in people and children dying, yet it appears that we have failed to address this in an efficient way that benefits everyone.


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