Human migration will be a defining issue of this century. How best to cope?
- 21 September 2015
- Media coverage
Alexander Betts writes in The Observer
On Sunday, Professor Alexander Betts penned an op-ed for the ‘Comment is free’ section in The Observer. Within this he illustrates how “current policy responses bypass engagement with long-term trends”. He states, “The world as a whole lacks a vision for how to respond to the changing nature of displacement. So much of the current “crisis” is not a crisis of numbers but a crisis of politics.”
He identifies “Five major gaps in the refugee regime… which require long-term policy development at national, regional and global levels.” These are: 1) Access – how are people supposed to claim asylum when arriving spontaneously in a country equates to ‘illegal’ entry?; 2) Responsibility-sharing by states; 3) Survival migration – many people leaving fragile states fall outside the 1951 convention definition but are still essentially not ‘voluntary’ migrants; 4) Markets – recognizing that refugees can self-reliant and not a ‘burden’ if policies allow; and 5) People not in need of international protection – wherein “we have to accept that the price of asylum is a low level of non-removable people who are not in need of protection.”