Refugees and the Host Countries. By Cynthia Sohail
These days the terms 'refugee' and 'migrant' are being used widely. But, meanings of these terms are not the same. Migrants are persons who move from one country to other to improve their lives. Whereas refugees are the persons who move from their native country to other countries in order to save their lives. In other words these are a kind of self-exiled people. The reasons to leave their motherland could be numerous in nature including religious or sectarian discrimination, poverty, violation of human rights, and political conflicts etc. In general these are persecuted people and once they leave their native country they become unable to return. On the other hand migrants don’t face such hurdles to return to their countries.
Once these self-exiled people are given asylum by a specific developed country, it means that they are not only secured but also get an opportunity to improve their social and economic conditions. It is like a restart of their lives and it is obvious that they face emotional, environmental and social problems at the initial stage in a new country.
During the ongoing era 22 developed and developing countries are hosting a large number of refugees belonging to different regions of the world. Out of 22 developed countries U.S.A has received more refugees than all the others countries in the past and in the present time too. Every year, the president and Congress meet to set quota for refugees from different countries. Many steps are being taken under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for the people who want to travel to USA and work on the status of refugees. This is because most of the time people use the term illegal to define an asylum seeker which is judicially and ethically incorrect. In fact, entering in another country through irregular manners, or staying with an irregular status, should not be considered an offense but it could be considered violation of administrative rules and regulations. An act could be considered legal or illegal but a person cannot.
Finding out the reasons that in many host countries of the world refugees are called or considered to be terrorists and especially refugees from eastern part of the world because during the recent years many attempts of terrorism are carried out by the people who moved as refugees from their native countries to Europe and U.S.A. There is no doubt in saying that majority of these refugees live in host countries from decades.
After the 9/11 terror attacks in USA, its liberal policies converted into security policies in department of immigration that has temporarily turned the situation a bit complex for refugees and immigrants. Due to this reason many developed countries are now cautious for taking refugees. National security has become the focus of election campaigns, national and foreign policies of the host countries. Moreover, other possible measures are also being taken by these countries to ensure peace and security within their territories. At the same time all efforts are also carried out by the government institutions and NGOs around the world for the security, welfare and dignity of the refugees. Electronic and print Medias are playing a vital role as well for the sake of refugees.
But, in order to sustain their own dignity and stability the refugees should follow the law and order of the host countries. They must respect the social values of the new society and must not desecrate their religion considering themselves as “supreme”. It becomes their moral duty to live with peace in the host countries. They must not get involved themselves in criminal or terrorist activities because they get opportunities to live a happy life with complete freedom. On the basis of unethical response and violent activities of many refugees, Islamic countries do not take refugees although a majority of them are Muslims. Only the Western or secular countries have opened their gates for refugees despite the risk of terrorism.
This observation is concluded with two things; firstly, it is not only the responsibility of accommodating countries to serve refugees but it is also the duty of refugees to live and serves the host countries fairly and lawfully. Secondly, security of host countries, the ban on entry of asylum seekers imposed by Islamic countries does not based upon religion, color or caste; it is only because of security reasons. So the refugees should not become a part of terrorist organizations or do not get themselves involved in criminal activities but play a progressive and supporting role in the host countries. This will surely encourage Western countries to take in more refugees but also convince the leaderships of Islamic states to welcome asylum seekers in their countries. Many Islamic states are rich in resources and bright opportunities for deserving and suffering people belonging to war-affected or politically disturbed countries of the world.