Recently, Europe has been grappling with what is described as “the migrant crisis.” Large groups of foreigners are seeking asylum in European countries and immediately being turned away.
The majority of these migrants come from Syria, with others trickling in from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia, and Nigeria. The refugees from Syria are fleeing from the ruthlessness cruelty of groups such as ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
According to the Vox website, the aforementioned groups specifically target civilians and subject them to “murder, torture, crucifixion, sexual slavery, and other appalling atrocities.”
Many refugees flee from violence, political oppression, and lawlessness; yet others are simply trying to make a better life for their families in wealthier nations.
These wealthier nations in Europe and North America have been fairly reluctant to give refuge to migrants. Germany was one of the few countries that had not closed itself off until the decision was made last week to implement border controls for “urgent security reasons,” according to Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Whether Germany’s border policy change is actually due to the mass influx of refugees in that country, or it is a statement to European neighbors that Germany cannot handle the situation alone, the fact remains that something must be done.
So, what can be done about the migrant crisis? Laurence Peter, writer of BBC News, lists some options. Europe can agree on asylum rules, develop national quotas, and confront the problem by taking the refugees in. Another option would be to deal with migration pathways to help the migrants travel, in order to prevent tragedies such as the drowning of the 4-year-old migrant Aylan Kurdi.
Ultimately, the migrant crisis in Europe is the symptom of the broader issue of economic and political instability in the Middle East and Africa, from where most migrants are fleeing.