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‘You’ll be given love – you’ll be taken care of. You’ll be given love – you have to trust it. Maybe not from the sources, you have poured yours. Maybe not from the directions you are staring at. Twist your head around – it’s all around you. All is full of love, all around you.’ – Bjork: ‘All Is Full Of Love.
Unfortunately, all is not full of love; at least, it doesn’t appear that way. Currently, the European migrant crisis is at risk of collapsing. Migrants across Europe are at risk of stateless misplacement, with outbursts occurring between pro-migrant protesters and police on the Austria-Italy border. For those who are unaware of the situation, Greece has begun to ship off migrants to Turkey under a new European Union deal. The unwanted refugees are part of an agreement for ending the uncontrollable flood of refugees and migrants in Europe, most of whom are fleeing war-torn countries and unjust political regimes in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
So far, over 6000 migrants and refugee are stateless, unclear of what their future holds. Makeshift tents have been erected on Lesbos, the Aegean coastal town of Dikili and surrounding islands, and in and around the town of Cesme to house those sent back from the Greek island of Chios. These people are expecting to be deported back to their country, with many of them most likely to be sent to Turkey – a ‘safe third country.’ Of course, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and human rights groups have denounced the agreement as a mortal blow to human rights, immoral, unjust, and lacking legality.
The world seems to be forgetting that seeking asylum is not a crime, but a basic human right. Many countries who have pledged allegiance to the UN will deprive human beings of their liberties at the drop of hat. They will consign them indefinitely to a prison without conviction or ability to repeal – all within the confines of ‘democracy.’ This country is Britain, it is Australia, it is every country who fails to recognise the helplessness of refugees fleeing a homeland that already deprives them of their liberties. Many of these victims have been through horrific ordeals none of us could imagine, least of all our government officials we elect to protect our civil rights; these ordeals are constantly exacerbated by the lack of any meaningful judicial inquiry, any substantial care of their individual well-being
Everyone wants to belong somewhere, but unfortunately, not everyone can. One of the oldest ideas of human rights stems from the belief that human rights are a product of a natural law, that they are inherent even without our knowing so. Thomas Hobbes, an English philosopher, founded a contractual theory concerning ‘man’ and the ‘state of nature.’ It was Hobbes’s idea that a man without a state will be in constant fear of his life and possessions, and is therefore in a constant state of war with himself and those around him. John Locke, English Enlightenment philosopher and physical, went one step further and turned Hobbes’s idea around, stating that if a ruler went against natural law and thus failed to protect ‘life, liberty, and property,’ then people could justifiably rebel and overthrow the state to create new order. Unfortunately, refugees are not in a position to do so.
Political instability and injustice has placed thousands of migrants and refugees in a state of war by not protecting their life, liberty, and property. Somehow, morality has been stripped away, and hegemonic, power-hungry capitalists have forsaken their own people. Where is the sense of belonging? Of unity? Of faith? Where is their sense of humanity?
There is no end in sight to the European migrant crisis. Refugees are shipped off by Turkish ferries every day, riot police have been deployed, though violence has been sparse; over 2,800 people have already applied for asylum, accounting for almost every individual held at the Dikili refugee camp. Undoubtedly the Dikili residents have expressed anger over the situation, as the town is too small to house such an influx of people.
Migrants and refugees need to know that they belong, that they have a voice. They have to be reminded they are part of a world order; they are members of a global society, and that seeking asylum is a legitimate cause to migrate. Unfortunately, it’s something the European Union, Australia, the UK, and indeed the rest of the world, often forgets.