Asylum Seekers and Refugees : Human Floods
‘Asylum seeker’ is a term heard on all sides today, prominent in newsprint and on television screens, discussed everywhere in parliaments, regional assemblies, women’s associations and working men’s clubs. The meaning the term is given in common parlance is vague, ambiguous, often censorious, and its implications are hotly debated.Over against this difficulty in careful definition is the fearful scenario of millions on the move, in turmoil and danger, deprived of a normal life because of conflict and persecution and pressing inexorably upon the settled communities of the civilized world.
More and more people move around the world than ever before in recorded history, as the next chapter will record. The movements are difficult to gauge with any accuracy but a common estimate is that since 1945 some 50 to 60 million people have been uprooted and left their homes either voluntarily or involuntarily. The so-called ‘zones of anguish’, from which ‘persons of concern’ have flooded, were Europe in the 1950s, Africa in the 1960s, Asia in the 1970s and 1980s and, once more, Europe, particularly since the 1990s. These victims of persecution and conflict seek safety and opportunity elsewhere. Today, there are at least 17 million people in transit seeking some form of asylum—over 6 million in Asia, 4.2 million in Africa, and 4.2 million in Europe. Probably half of these unfortunates are women and children.
It is difficult to calculate the size of the migrant flood in view of its astonishing diversity and changes in its composition. There will be those desperate to get away from persecution and discrimination whom the world will acknowledge as genuine refugees. Others, the economic migrants, will be searching for a better life and prospects elsewhere. Environmental degradation will force many to leave their homes. Great numbers of people are displaced within their own land, victims of war or political coups or ethnic cleansing. Many will be unable to escape to a friendlier country, remaining holed up in temporary camps or inhospitable regions; others will flee abroad, chancing their fate somewhere as illegal immigrants. Overall, with growing ease of travel, the world is a smaller place, with a chance to get away more easily to knock on other doors. Given this diversity, a search for meanings is vital, though forbidding in its complexity and scale.
Source : Book International law that use in this reference :
David J, Whittaker, 2006. Asylum seekers and refugees in the contemporary World. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group: London and New York.
Picture Human Floods Asylum Seekers and Refugees