(The Real Agenda News) The fact that war and political or religious persecution are responsible for the displacement of tens of millions of people in Asia, Africa and the Middle East is not new. It is not new either that, when reporting about the displacement of millions, the mainstream media never explains the real causes behind the wars or the persecutions that cause the massive movement of people.
While mainstream media hide the real reasons of such a displacement, organizations that allegedly fight to protect refugees who flee their land as a consequence of conflict, fail to specifically point the finger to the forces responsible for the creation of chaos in the poorest regions of the world, or the real agenda behind the endless wars and the promotion of skyrocketing poverty.
For the longest time in modern history, western powers have played chess and monopoly with the lives of millions of people worldwide and continuously destabilize governments from the inside out.
These powers do so while verbally promoting democracy elsewhere, as they seek hegemonic standing over large territories around the planet. Their intent is to conquer them for their natural riches and strategic location.
It is not a shock to hear NGOs reporting on the millions of people – the number grows larger every year – who abandon their land in search for refuge in foreign lands, within their continent or beyond, due to the strife presented by war, famine and lack of the most basic services that in the western world are taken for granted.
According to the United Nations Agency for Refugees (UNHCR), 2015 saw an exponential increase in the number of people who are now called refugees of war. In only 12 months, between 2014 and 2015, the number of displaced men, women and children increased by 6 million, in comparison to previous years.
The drama of refugees not only continues but increases and gets worse at times. Last year, 14.5 million people left their homes for the first time as a result of conflict and persecution, adding up to a total of 65.3 million people who have fled their homes around the world due to war and persecution.
Not the fences in eastern Europe, not the walls between the United States and Mexico, not containment policies in countries of origin – mostly in sub-Saharan Africa- as the European Commission announced two weeks ago -, not even the temporary closure of several European internal borders helped to curb the migration of the 65.3 million people who felt persecuted in their countries and whose lives were in danger. “There is a crisis of numbers, but also a crisis of solidarity”, criticizes the UN’s Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon.
Somalis, Afghans and Syrians represent 54% of refugees worldwide despite, for example, the commitment of the EU to provide political protection exclusively to Eritreans, Iraqis and Syrians.
Turkey, with 2.5 million refugees, mostly Syrians fleeing their sixth year of war, repeated for the second year as the host country that receives more refugees, followed by Pakistan with 1.6 million, Lebanon with 1, 1 million, Iran with 979,400, Ethiopia with 736,100 and Jordan with 664,100, according to the UN. But the density of population in these countries differs and Lebanon tops the list of recipient countries with 183 refugees per 1,000 inhabitants. Turkey, which has the most refugees on its territory in absolute numbers, hosts within its borders 32 per 1,000 inhabitants.
As a reminder, the Turkish government has been bribed by Europe to hold on to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of refugees in exchange for cash and special VISA conditions for its citizens that would facilitate their arrival to Europe.
One thing that stands out is that by 2015 half of the refugees around the world were children. In addition, the number of under 18 unaccompanied refugees, whose situation, according to several organizations such as Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), Save the Children and UNICEF, has worsened “significantly”, has grown from 34,300 in 2014 to 98,400 in 2015, although UNHCR fears, as reflected in the document, that the figures could be much higher as there are countries that do not provide data on minors.
In Sweden and Germany, two of the countries that have given more attention to applications for asylum by persons below 18 years, the numbers have come to quintuple from 2014 to 2015, a year in which more refugees arrived in the EU: almost one million, according to the UNHCR.
Millions of citizens continued seeking protection in 2015 and the year saw the record for asylum requests, according to UNHCR. The total number amounted to 2.45 million people who sought protection in 174 countries, an increase of 48% over the previous year.
Germany leads the list of places preferred by so-called refugees with almost 450 asylum applications per thousand inhabitants.
The Germans are followed by the USA, Sweden, Russia, Turkey and Austria, where the socialist government of the previous legislature decided to limit the influx of refugees and set a quota to grant asylum status beginning in the second part of 2016.
“The provision of support and protection to refugees and the effective management of migration is a challenge that requires a global response. The EU will continue to participate in global efforts to address it,” said on Sunday the Vice President of the Commission of Immigration, Development and Humanitarian Affairs, Frans Timmermans, the high representative of European diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, and other Commissioners in a joint statement.
For UNHCR, an immediate and lasting solution in time is the voluntary return of refugees to their homelands. This option, however, is less popular among those who should make this decision. In 2015, 201,400 people voluntarily returned to their homes. “It is a significant increase compared to the 126,000 from a year earlier,” says the UN.
The harsh conditions of war make it impossible for civilians to live in their own homes, so UNHCR also promotes resettlement as a form of long-term solution to protect the lives of people in danger.
Today there are 33 countries in the world that offer this protection path managed by the UN compared with 27 countries that supported it a year ago. But the pact between the EU and Turkey, under which Syrians would be resettled in a community as they returned to Turkey from Greece, is now in question as thousands of Syrian children and women have been found to live in perilous conditions and in situations of sexual and labor exploitation.