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immigration | imperialism & war

Behind every refugee stands an arms trader

Humankind has abolished slavery, absolute monarchy, cannibalism and, in principle, child labor. To solve, or at least reduce, the mounting refugee problem, we should begin to discuss how to increase human civilization by criminalizing arms trade and by abolishing war - as stated in the UN Charter Preamble. But there are taboos on such common sense ideas in all the countries which consider themselves civilised compared with the morally weak and uncivilized countriesthey destroy
to read Jan Oberg's article published 4/26/2015, click on


In various media reports and political statements the word "refugee" is increasingly being replaced by "migrant" - hardly just a coincidence given the fact that the number of refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum-seekers has passed 50 million fellow human beings worldwide.

A migrant, according to the UN, is a person who is engaged in (seeking) a remunerative activity in a state of which he or she is not a national. A refugee is an entirely different person who is outside his or her home country because of having suffered (or feared) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, or political opinion; because he or she is a member of a persecuted social category of persons; or because they are fleeing a war.

And a refugee has the right to seek asylum and shall not be penalised for his or her illegal entry or stay. More about the refugee conventions here.

Add to that the now often repeated but totally misleading wording - that these refugees are coming "to seek a better life" in Europe - as if their lives were already good but they want it better.

It's plain nonsense. The issue is not what they flee to but what they flee from. Refugees are on the run from some version of hell.

These boat refugees run away to another continent without shoes, money or belongings because their lives are unbearable and they have absolutely no hope. Refugees are not happiness-seekers.

Using "migrants" instead of "refugees" takes away our attention from why they flee, from our own complicity in all this and it reduces our responsibility to protect refugees.

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But we DO need to understand what is being discussed 26.Jan.2016 07:51

Mike Noack

No matter where we do stand on the question.

a) Asylum seeker --- person needing to flee from a place where they are at risk. They have a right to escape, cross borders "illegally" etc. until they are no longer at risk (from the initial threat). OR (very important) another threat in this new place that would also give them "asylum seeker" status as they moved on.

b) migrant --------- person needing to flee from a place where life in not viable for economic reasons.

THAT is where the disagreements arise.

1) SOME of us feel that "b" is equivalent to "a". After all, isn't starving a threat? The problem is that those of us who think this are very much in the minority.

2) Some of us feel that although we might not consider persons in general in this place that lacks economic viability are not entitled to "asylum" status (but are "migrants") we feel that this does not apply to people there because they were asylum seekers. We feel that asylum seekers are entitled to keep going on (retaining that status with its rights) until they have reached a place of safety AND economic viability. Still a minority wo feel this way, but perhaps a much larger minority.

3)Some of us feel "asylum status" ends when at the first place of safety (from the initial treat or equivalent ones). If desiring to move on, now a "migrant" without RIGHT to be accepted (of course the place moved on to can choose to accept migrants). Perhaps unfortunately, it appears that the majority feel that way, even if we here prefer "2" or even "1".

you are uninformed 18.Mar.2016 21:13

mrs x

you seem oblivious to the FACT that many of the so- called "refugees" coming into europe (or the usa), are indeed MIGRANTS. these are not even coming from war torn areas, they are coming from poor countries other than those in war. Some are posers without papers, others are using fake papers. but there is a high percentage of people who are neither a persecuted minority nor under threat of war, mixed in with real refugees. Sure, some may be fleeing the evils of muslim governments and societies,but oddly and paradoxically, they themselves are muslims and bring those beliefs with them. !!! Get your facts straight, stop being a low info activist , you may be well meaning, but your actions become detrimental to your own people, when you are so woefully under informed.