Migrant crisis or the European migrant emergency refers to the persistence influx of people into Europe travelling across the Mediterranean Sea or overland through southeast Europe. This phenomenon became an issue to reckon on when the European Union witnessed an upsurge number of refugees or immigrants into the zone. In the late 20th century Europe recorded an increased immigration from other continents including the Middle East and the African continent. It has not always been an easy journey as it has met resistance in many European countries. Recent statistics have proven that in September 2018 one-fifth of migrants en route to Europe have either drowned or varnished. Most of them travel through the Mediterranean from the North African nation of Libya.
Causes of the migrant crisis
The phenomenon of migrant crisis cannot be tackled effectively without knowing the causes. many people especially youths are forced out of their countries of origin due to war; civil unrest economic crisis; terrorism etc. according to pundits seeing refugees or migrants as a huge burden by host nations is the primary cause of the migrant crisis. Responding to this preoccupation a political analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity said when home becomes hell people turn to look for heaven wherever they can. When the grass becomes dry we will always look for greener pastures elsewhere. ‘’if we consider that the essence of life is a permanent search for happiness’’, then we easily understand what force people to risk their lives in the wilderness and oceans days in days out. Migrant crisis is therefore the result of a deficit of public policies to provide people with good living conditions in their own country.
Since the year 2014 a total of 1.8 million refugees have entered Europe over 1 million of them embarked on the journey in 2015 alone. 2018 has also witnessed an influx of 37 034 refugees in Europe by sea. According to the United Nations High Commission for refugees-UNHCR, Spain has opened its doors to some 9 500 irregular migrants Greece 12 000 and Italy 15 300. Nevertheless, a recent EU-Turkey deal has seen a decrease in the number of illegal migrants entering Europe. Also US president Donald Trump has rubbished the migrant crisis calling it a total mess. According to Trump continues influx of irregular migrants should be termed an ‘’emergency’’, threatening to cut aid to nations that fail to prevent their citizens from illegal migration.
What is the fate of migrants?
Anti-immigration feelings in Europe remain a course for concern. The fate of millions of migrants/refugees en route to Europe remains in the balance. New border fences in the Balkans and a bilateral arrangement between Italy and Libya have made life a nightmare for most migrants. Some countries like Germany Italy considered as beacon of hope for most migrants have adopted a hard stance. in June 2018 Italian deputy pm Mateo Salvini stopped a vessel carrying 629 people from entering an Italian port. Spain however welcomed the Aquarius or vessel. Germany is under pressure from its Interior Ministry to make berlins border unfavourable for migrants. Conclusively, if EU leaders can look at migrants from a positive perspective dealing with migrant crisis will not be an issue. Most of these migrants present a good labour force and boost development in human capital. Thus, good migration policies will favour the economic growth of the Euro zone.
AFRIC Editorial Article.