The Refugee Crisis: Sunday 12th June 2016
We had a lively discussion among a group of migrants – (how often do we think ourselves as that?) – at the Living Room Dialogue with Angie Thadani, who set about debunking a number of myths concerning migration and the refugee crisis. She pointed out that the levels of migration worldwide have remained fairly static at about 3% of the world’s population for many years, though as population increases this is a growing number of people.
- She highlighted the fact that the current refugee crisis is more a Middle Eastern European problem than a European one, as Lebanon and Jordan and Turkey have received the lion’s share of refugee settlers.
- She said that migrants do not, on the whole, take jobs away from nationals, but often regenerate the economy in countries with ageing populations.
- Investment to reduce levels of poverty and improve economic conditions does not discourage migration, but rather increases levels of mobility and creates aspirations. Those who are migrating currently are not the poorest; they have funds to pay the smugglers.
- Migrants should not be regarded as Islamic extremists; they are often fleeing from countries or regions where Islamic extremists have taken control. The problem is often the reverse: extremists from Europe and North Africa heading to these contries and regions to fight.
A very stimulating and thought-provoking evening. We ended in prayer: for a compassionate heart for all who are so needy and a recognition that each one has dignity as those made in the image of God.