Faultlines, refugees, and the law

Bosnia and Herzegovina

The refugee crisis in Europe has challenged many accepted truths, and shown that the solution lies in applying international human rights law to override political maneuvering.

For the refugee ‘crisis’ this narrative went along predictable lines: reports of numbers and the response of States. The inability of Greece, Macedonia, and then Hungary to ‘cope’, and the defensive measures taken to stop the ‘invasion’. The generic term used was ‘migrants’ ‘Syrians’ ‘refugees’ - depersonalising. Although there were some personal stories, there was no analysis as to who they were: men, women, children, age? 

 The ultimate solution to the current refugee’ crisis’ is to end the war. That must be the end game. Traditional narratives and the policies and knee jerk reactions that follow, have failed. A different approach is needed and this crisis has perhaps shown us the way forward: there is a new and positive image of masculinity which favours peace over war; there is a tide of good will and common humanity across borders, languages and cultures, which has shown that our governments can be swayed by citizen engagement-democracy. Above all, and to meet the demands of the immediate situation now, there is a legal framework which  can guide States through this if they only drop their political rhetoric and seek practical ways forward. 

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Faultlines, refugees, and the law 2015