Crisis comes to Europe


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The world is currently enveloped in a growing crisis. Syria and Iraq are engulfed in warfare, with multiple factions are battling over control of the region. This war is displacing millions of people who are fleeing the violence that has taken over their daily lives. Many of these refugees are children who are forced to leave their homes for fear of their lives.

Under the United Nations Convention on Refugees, refugees are afforded certain rights such as freedom of prosecution for entering a country illegally if they act in good faith and protection against forcible return to their country of origin. They are seeking to enter Europe to start a new life free from the horrors of war.

Europe has had a decidedly mixed response. The main path for these refugees into Europe is through Hungary, which has closed its borders to refugees and had built a border fence to try and keep them out. The Prime Minister of Hungary has claimed that he has closed the borders to protect the “Christian character of Europe.”.

This is a travesty. Prime Minister Orbán is breaking international law and also violating human morality. He is denying millions of people a chance to be safe because it is inconvenient for him. The vast majority of these refugees do not want to settle in Hungary, but instead just use it to pass through. By stopping these people at his borders, Orbán is condemning them to death. His words encourage refugees to take riskier alternatives, like trying to sail into Europe as seen when a boat with hundreds of refugees sank on its way to Italy with almost no survivors.

Europe should instead follow the example of Germany who has opened its arms to refugees. It has suspended its previous system of automatic deportation and instead is welcoming asylum applications. They are showing compassion and mercy to those worse off than themselves. This model should be one for the world to follow as this crisis deepens. More people will need to be resettled and seeing these people as humans will go a long way towards making sure that they have the best life possible.