There is a lot to clarify in this debate where sometime, people wrongly apply some odd definitions which do not fit the reality on the ground and circumstances that led people to leave their home country at the first place. Most of these definitions are inaccurately used as stereotypes to divide and mislead public opinions.
The media headlines "Migrants Crisis" ; "Refugees Crisis" show how supports of communication are used to inaccurately influence public opinion.
Would "European Crisis" or "Divided Europe Leads To Humanitarian Disaster" describe the situation more accurately?
While Politicians and Media share common patterns and play an important role in shifting responsibilities, misplacing debates, using stereotypes, inaccurately shaping public opinions for selfish interests or for the sake of "Sensationalism", "Migrants" are no different to "refugees" as there are all human being in search of a better place to survive in safety and dignity.
The argument some people use is that "migrants" are moving across borders in search of a better life and that movement is perceived as a "free choice", while "refugees" are FORCED to leave (flee) because of of risks of persecution. In reality, "migrants" and "refugees" are all FORCED to leave their country of origins because of circumstances beyond their control, whether one calls that economic reasons or persecutions because, they are fundamentally all in need of dignity and safety. If you take the current "Syrians" crisis in context, which is not "refugees' "or "migrants'" crisis as politicians and the media want people to believe but WAR MONGERS and powerful nations' geopolitics involvement resulting to mass killing and displacement. What other choices/ alternatives do these people have? Yes, they are risking their lives on their perilous journeys to a place of safety where they are hoping to live a better life in peace and dignity. Yes, they are desperate to reach Europe, solely because Europe have been using them for reasons bigger than their naive hope of "democracy", "justice" and rule of law". Staying in Syria is unlikely an option as they would end up getting killed or facing inhuman and degrading treatment. "Forced Migrants" generally face similar situations as they also leave their country of origins because of circumstances beyond their control (natural disasters, human exploitation, injustice, corrupt greedy leaders, etc), and therefore risk everything to reach Europe, solely because Western countries support the dictators at the head of those states by negotiating profitable contracts to exploit their natural resources and helping them to deposit in European banks or invest the money stolen from their people. As a result, people from these countries face hopeless future, widespread corruptions, total injustice and no freedom of expression. What choice do they have? They either die trying to make it to Europe to help their families and relatives back home or remain in country of origin to get humiliated, watch their love ones malnourished or starving, missing education opportunities, unable to get medical treatment as they would have no money to pay for a ticket to help them to see a doctor. Between two evils, they chose the lesser one to sacrifice their lives in search of dignity and a second chance. This is one of the fundamental reasons why voluntary return programs are not successful because of Western countries' lack of tackling the roots of these issues. As far as I am concerned, the real debate is not about who should be called "migrant" or "refugee" but how to restore the balance that will give the same rights to anyone as defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to eliminate discriminatory legislations that pick and chose, divide and rule. The world has evolved to a global village thanks to new technologies, transport facilities and it' s too late to go backwards. The "Wall of shame", the Berlin Wall is no more because of people's power and little political will. The same way Europe is no longer in a position to stop people from crossing their borders. No fortress will stop desperate people and neither highly militarised border controls will. Thousands will get killed but will be replaced. The Dublin Convention is technically no more fit for purposes as there is no way that people who crossed first European ports of entry will be deported back to, for example, Romania, Hungary, Croatia or Malta. Calais will end up being a "Refugee/ Resettlement Camp" like in Darfur, Jordan or Afghanistan if nothing is done to absorb the flux of people. Let's take a step back To reflect on the situation of the people already in the UK and have been living in limbo for years because of Home Office' s inefficiency to process their cases. You, as well as every one else know that is complex and highly impossible to clear out the stock of delayed cases and remove them from the UK. The UK government has tried everything possible to deliberately starve them, force them into destitution, arrest and detain many of them on our expenses (tax payers), using stereotypes and humiliating treatments but none of these degrading and inhuman methods has resulted to a successful strategy. Thus, instead of triggering mass return to country of origins, the situation facilitates internal human trafficking and exploitation that only benefits organised crimes.
I can't finish this blog without questioning the huge pot of money European leaders are willing to hand over to African leaders. If you think is what African people need, think again!
That money will be back in Europe through off shore accounts and little will be done to address the issue on the ground.
African leaders invited in Malta have more money in European banks stolen from their people while their fellow citizens risk their lives on the road to Europe because of despair. They face oppression, starvation, lack of health, infrastructures, unemployment and hopeless future.
European leaders Must stop feeding dictators and corrupt leaders. European leaders know who are the culprits and the ludicrous amount of money deposit in their bank accounts. European leaders can help to stop that massive money laundering scale, help retrieve the money and reinvest it locally to given African people a genuine reason to stay, live in dignity and without fear of persecution, inhuman and degrading treatment.
Until this is done, thousands of desperate people will continue to risk the perilous journeys to Europe.
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere"