Aim: To treat all refugees and asylum seekers as we would wish to be treated ourselves. (We are members of the Human Family after all.)
Definitions: Refugees are those people fleeing injustice in their home area in order to take refuge in an area or country away from where they normally live and work. This may be happening for a variety of reasons. Wars are considered as one of the most important “push factors” compelling individuals to leave their countries of origin. Asylum seekers are those people wishing to find a safe place in a foreign country where they might live in order to meet the needs which are not being met in their home country.
The Current Crisis in the Middle East
For the past five years many parts of Syria have suffered from a severely broken peace and instability. The war, in which many thousands of people have been killed and injured, with housing and infrastructure destroyed, thousands of people displaced, has led to millions seeking safety and protection in neighbouring countries and in ones further afield. In order to effectively deal with the crisis, everyone needs to understand how dramatic, in human terms, the effects of war are!
Humanitarian action to be taken:
- All persons who cross (or have already crossed) the Syrian and Iraqi borders into neighbouring countries should be recorded. (The detail is to be determined by the countries receiving the refugees/asylum seekers probably in consultation with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees [UNHCR].) Records should be made on-line so that the refugees/asylum seekers crossing further borders may be more easily checked through.
- Genuine refugees and asylum seekers should be settled as quickly as possible into temporary accommodation (with running water, sanitation, electricity, light and heat, the means to prepare food, bed(s) and bedding) with food supplies available nearby (countries and places to be agreed by all at the “conferences”).
- All those not fulfilling agreed requirements for genuine refugees and asylum seekers should be returned to their home countries immediately.
- On being settled, adults should each receive the local equivalent of the minimum wage until they take on paid work
- Paid work should be arranged within or near the “settlement”
- The receiving countries should have arrangements prepared so that the refugees/asylum seekers wishing to return home may do so as quickly and easily as possible.