Putting People Over Politics in the Refugee Politics

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“A refugee has the right to safe asylum”. This is what is written right at the very top of article 14 of the Universal Declaration of human rights published in 1948, However this seems to be something that is ignored by the majority of countries since around about 2013, as well as many of their citizens who hold an incredible fear and even hatred for these people and even the word refugee, you see in recent years the term refugee has become somewhat of a criminalizing word to use for desperate people, in fact some would argue it has been used so negatively in recent years that it could now be considered a dehumanizing word used by right wing media outlets and public figures alike, from fox news to the daily mail, from Marie Le-Pen to Nigel Farage, from Poland to Alaska we have seen an increase in anti-Semitism revolving thoroughly around the refugee. We have been bombarded with Statements and Images some even scrawled across billboards such as the now infamous leave party poster of how Brittan is at “breaking point” and there is no more space and there is no way a refugee could conform to the social standards of our country. But why are we so afraid of a group of people? the brown bearded man has become an image of fear mongering and Brexit couldn’t have been more perfectly timed, People didn’t vote for economics or for business and trade but they voted for “defence”, the so called taking back of our borders, they voted leave in the hate for the non-white the non-right. We had this idea that the UK could not afford these masses of people pushed on us by the media and the leaders wanting out.

Now I’m not saying every Brexit voter was a diehard bigot and some sort of mad fascist but it is hard to deny that there was a race issue at the heart of Brexit. In fact places with large majority of Brexit voters are in a somewhat echo chamber of right wing politics, areas that vote for UKIP and buy more copies of the Sun than of the Guardian. Across the world right now there is a slur of anti-immigrant and anti-refugee politics, Donald Trump may come to mind at first but our current conservative government is not innocent they simply aren’t outspoken. So I’m exploring if there is a prejudice against refugees and if so why?

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First of what is a refugee? Refugees are innocent people, they are not terrorists and they are in fact fleeing the terrorists currently in the Middle East and Africa. However a refugee can come from any part of the world. A common misconception is that a refugee is the same as an immigrant, yet a refugee plans on going home as soon as it is safe for them to do so, an immigrant has chosen to move from their country. Getting into the politics of refuges the UK has agreed to take in 20,000 refugees from camps in the Middle East over the next fifteen years. That’s just 1300 each year, and this is only after these people have been vetted for a minimum of 7 months inside a camp, camps that seem to be resembling more and more the horrors of the past. Therefor the UK has accepted just 18% of the refugees it has agreed to and that’s not even close to the amount we can take in with absolutely no impact on the average person. Based on the size of the economy, Oxfam has calculated Britain's 'fair share' of Syrian refugees to be 75,000 by the end of 2016, yet by May 2017 we had accepted just 3100. Now many people have said that refugees could ruin the country however the influx will not be bank-breaking, though. In the very short run, the IMF estimates that refugees will add around 0.19% of GDP to public expenditure in the European Union (0.35% in Germany) in 2016. This will add to public debt, and given higher joblessness among refugees, unemployment will rise. But looking only at their fiscal impact is too narrow a focus. Later on, as the new arrivals integrate into the workforce, they are expected to boost annual output by 0.1% for the EU as a whole, and 0.3% in Germany. Germany has accepted just over 1 million refugees, and the country has had a recent economic boom. Although small still a rise. As for other countries accepting refugees, Norway and Canada remain some of the lowest attacked countries by terrorists in the last 15 years and they have taken over 200% of their Oxfam “fair share” amount of refugees. To put that in a number that is roughly 2.3 million people.

So why have Norway and Canada accepted so many refuges, and so many more than is required by their country. The answer simply put is there governments do not care about an economic downfall but instead fear a moral downfall. Canada in the last year has accepted 35,745 Syrian refugees. This is 239% of what has been estimated as required by their country. Norway has taken in a massive 249% more refugees than they are required to. This is based in the principle of decent morality. And not only do the governments of these countries support the influx of refugees but the people seem to as well, although there is a minority of course in both countries of citizens and government officials who oppose refugees. Germany I feel has also earned an honourable mention taking in just over 100% of their fair share, which is still an impressive feat. Although it may be obvious as to why the largely liberal government of Norway in Europe has taken in so many refugees it remains unknown to many as to why Canada offered up refuge in the first place. After all Canada is hundreds of miles out of the way for a refugee and really could’ve easily just said no. The government of Canada has come out to explain their actions. They have stated that Canada resettles refugees to save lives and to provide stability to those fleeing persecution with no hope of relief. Through its refugee protection system Canada offers a safe haven to people with a well-founded fear of persecution, and people who are outside of their country and cannot return because of that fear of persecution.

But onto the people who oppose refugees in Norway and Canada, the people who seem to resemble the attitude of a much larger proportion within the UK, France the USA etc. In Norway there is a group increasing in both popularity and disapproval from different sides of the debate, the group is known as “soldiers of Odin” this group expands across a few countries including Sweden and Finland, its origin country. The group is an anti-immigration street patrol and was founded in 2015 to tackle the large influx of refugees from across Africa and the Middle East. The group has been linked to physical and more commonly verbal assaults on refugees or those who look to be not originally from Europe. The group denies being racist despite their leader and founder Mika Ranka being heavily involved in neo Nazism and extreme right wing politics. Canada has less people who are so outspoken about being anti refugee however they do have their own group of soldiers of Odin, The group has strong connections to their sister group in Europe and has also been linked to attacks on refugees and immigrants alike, in fact The Quebec City mosque shooting was a mass shooting that occurred on the evening of January 29, 2017, at the Islamic Cultural Centre, a mosque in the Sainte-Foy neighbourhood of Quebec City, Six worshippers were killed and nineteen others injured when a lone gunman opened fire, shortly after the end of evening prayers. This gunman was a member of the soldiers of Odin and even sported there badge yet the group denies connection to him. Canada is harsher on xenophobia and often shuts down marches and protests before they even start. An approach that many feel should be taken across the globe.

In the UK anti-Semitism and refugee fear has been on the rise. The newest edition to this is “Brittan First” a far right, islamophobic, fascism group. The group was formed by Paul Golding during the fall of the BNP, this fall came shortly after the backlash of the party denying the holocaust saying it was “leftist propaganda to create a multicultural world”. Paul Golding has never confirmed nor denied his belief on the holocaust but his stance on Muslims is very well known, they shouldn’t exist. Golding has been in prison multiple times on charges of physical assault in relation to the religion of a person as well as charged with many fines for the verbal attack of Muslims and anti-Semitic rallies. Most recently In December 2016, Golding was sentenced to eight weeks in prison for breaching a court order banning him from entering a mosque with intention to cause distress or encouraging others to do so in England and Wales. In June 2017 Golding announced he was taking six months leave from leader of the party and passed full control over to Jayda Fransen, Jayda an immigrant herself from Europe is out to prove the group is not racist so long as you are coming over to work and so long as you are Christian. Jayda has been charged multiple times for encouraging assaults on innocent people who are Muslim and also for assaults on women in London. She was under fire after multiple acid attacks against Muslims took place in London in 2017 and she publically announced that if they weren’t here they wouldn’t be burned. Jayda was taken for questioning under a suspected link to the attacks but nothing came of it. Most recently Jayda has been arrested over the suspected reason to a woman’s miscarriage. Jayda screamed racist abuse through a pregnant Sikh woman’s letter box in the woman’s 9th month of pregnancy, the woman went into labour 2 days later because of the distress and had a still born child. These are the leaders of the groups that claim not to be racist, they use defences such as Islam is a religion and so it is not racist however many of their followers don’t deny that they hold prejudices.

Honestly, I feel that the human side of refugees is one that has recently been overlooked People fail to see past the exterior of the person and weather swayed by media, surroundings or their own beliefs they have become xenophobic through this, many do not join public groups but at the same time many would not stop in the street if someone was being abused based on their skin colour or religious beliefs. Many claim that they are more civilised in there prejudice and loo at politics and statistics to come to their anti-refugee stance however People seem to fail to realise that to deny some refuge based purely on a possibility of an economic downfall is to literally put a price on a human life. Now what that price of human life is however is yet to be discussed in the public eye. Really it could be anything from a pound sterling to a million US dollars, but whatever that price may be, it is wrong to be in the first place.

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Putting People Over Politics in the Refugee Politics. (2020, December 14). WritingBros. Retrieved May 29, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/putting-people-over-politics-in-the-refugee-politics/
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