On Friday 28 August, Professor Alexander Betts appeared alongside RSC Honorary Associate and Secretary-General, Norwegian Refugee Council, to discuss the historical precedents of European refugee crisis responses.
Professor Betts emphasised that solutions to current refugee crises are possible with collective action, solidarity, and international cooperation among host countries. He also highlighted that around the world, not only are there host countries faced with influxes of many more people than those entering Europe, but Europe itself has accommodated large numbers of displaced people in the past. Lebanon, Turkey, and Jordan host a total of 3.5 million Syrian refugees. Kenya hosts over 500,000 refugees. Pakistan and Iran host over 2 million Afghans. In the Second World War, many people were displaced by the holocaust, and in the 1970s and 1980s, over 2 million people from Indochina and Vietnam were resettled in countries around the world.