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Today, Alexander Betts writes in Prospect magazine on the need to “separate safe havens from the migration debate”, and in doing so, find practical answers to the refugee ‘crisis’. He states:

“Providing refuge should be a manageable task. There are 20m international refugees, a modest number in the context of a global population of over 7bn. Furthermore, the challenge is concentrated in a small number of countries; a quarter of all refugees are, for example, Palestinians.

The problem is that we have lost sight of what refuge is about. For Europe it signals fear. For Turkey and Kenya it signals cost. The issue has become bound up with toxic debates on migration and globalisation. Both progressive and reactionary voices conflate refuge with the right to migrate. The debate became about whether we should open Europe to large numbers of Muslim migrants. This, though, was a distortion.

To address this, we need to restore refuge to its rightful place and understand what it is for…”

Read the full article here >>

Refuge: Transforming a Broken Refugee System, by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier, was published on 30 March by Penguin Allen Lane.

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