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Saturday, November 21, 2015

European Migrant Crisis - Important Topic For IAS UPSC Civil Services Exam

Migrant Crisis in Europe

There has been a steady influx of migrants seeking refuge in European countries who are basically fleeing from war zones in West Asia and North Africa as well as poorer European countries in search of a better life. This is an area from where question might be asked in IAS UPSC Civil Services Examination and I have collated information from reliable sources in point-wise format for easier re-collection.

Nature of Migrant Crisis
·      Approximately 438,000 people have sought asylum in European countries till July 2015 this year while 571,000 people had taken refuge in 2014
·      Growing tide of refugees have created a crisis in EU (European Union), especially among the Schengen countries where movement of people is unrestricted
·      Most of these immigrants are undertaking perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea and approximately 3000 people have died in these attempts
·      European Countries receiving this influx of immigrants are finding it difficult to provide shelter, food and health-care to them
·      Largest number of immigrants are from Syria where a civil war has been raging for over 4 years
·      Some immigrants are also from Afghanistan and Iraq which have also been in a state of civil unrest following the invasion by USA
·      Libyan civil war after the overthrow of Muammar Qaddafi has also forced people to flee
·      Refugees are also coming from Sub-Saharan Africa
·      From within Europe the refugees are from Serbia and Kosovo
·      The largest number of asylum seekers have been detected at Greek borders – mostly Syrians who had fled to Turkey and from there travelled by dinghies (small boats) to scattered Greek islands

Stand of European Governments
·      So far no common approach
·    A quota system to take refugees has been rejected, but there is mutual tension as some countries are affected more
·      Germany has said that all Syrians will be taken in, calling for generosity and a sharing of burden
·     Hungary has built a 175 km fence along its Serbian border to control the influx of refugees
·      UK has accepted only 216 Syrian refugees since Jan 2014

European Union Law (Dublin Regulation)
·      Under Dublin Regulation refugees should apply for asylum in the country in which they arrive and are first registered.
·      But as the numbers have increased, the rules have been ignored and many migrants have been allowed through borders

Challenges and Issues
·      Root cause of migrant crisis will have to be addressed by bringing a stop to civil wars in Syria and Libya as well as creating credible democratic institutions with participation from all ethnic groups in Iraq and Afghanistan
·      All EU countries should share the refugee burden equitably and not allow xenophobic elements to incite racial tension especially in the aftermath of Paris Attacks (13/11)
·      EU is working with African governments to stop distress migration by helping to create better job opportunities and improved quality of life in areas from where illegal migration is taking place



     © Civil Services Synopsis

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