Professor Alexander Betts spoke to BBC World News and BBC Radio yesterday about the recent tragic events in the Mediterranean. He stated that the EU's 10-point plan in response was "very disappointing" in placing the emphasis on "controlling and containing migration" and focusing on the people smugglers, rather than prioritizing saving lives. He argued that “smuggling doesn’t emerge and create migration. It responds to an underlying demand… underlying this is a massive global displacement crisis.” He further stressed that "…unless we see the bigger picture, we’ll only address the symptoms rather than the root causes.”
On BBC World News, he urged greater international cooperation and greater leadership by politicians, as occurred in the case of Vietnamese refugees in the 1970s and 1980s.
On BBC World News Business Edition he also highlighted that refugees can make a very positive economic contribution to countries, when given the right to work, citing the contribution of Vietnamese refugees in the United States and the findings of his research on Refugee Economies in Uganda.
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BBC World News (video)
BBC World News Business Edition (video)
BBC World Service Newsday (section 14.05-20.15) (radio)
BBC 5 Live Drive (section 1.10.45-1.16.00) (radio)