- Kosovar refugees fleeing their country(1999)

- Bahn refugee camp
- Bahn refugee camp


- Iraqi refugee camp

Everyday hundreds of thousands of people are forced to leave their homeland from fear of prosecution, war, violence, or natural disasters. A refugee may be forced to leave their homeland because they fear prosecution because of their race, gender, nationality, religion, political opinion, or their involvement in a social group. Unfortunately, many of these people can never return to their homeland again. Refugees must seek for a new place to live and try to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives. Before someone's request for refugee status is accepted, they are referred to as 'Asylum Seekers.' They must wait to see if their claim is accepted based on whether their fear of being prosecuted is demonstrated reasonably. The difference between a refugee and an IDP (internally displaced person) is that refugees cross international borders, whereas IDP's seek for a better life within their own border.

external image climatechangerefugees.jpg

I chose to use this cartoon to illustrate my topic because it flat out explains one of the major problems with refugees and the certain requirements that they must meet. Before someone can be allowed into a country and receive refugee status, their lives basically must be deemed 'in danger' in their own country, to the extent that they cannot live there anymore.
Refugee Stories:

Refugees are not Barganing Chips
January 1, 2010 : BILL FRELICK
This article explains a lot about how refugees are constantly mistreated around the world. Governments appear to support refugees greatly and then turn their back on them and either send them back to their own country or mistreat them. These refugees are usually mistreated or deported because of political issues/conflicts that occured years ago between the country of origin of the person, and the country that they are trying to enter. The author of this article talks about these wrong doings as if it were a virus spreading country to country- to show how this problem is spreading quite rapidly. The author of this piece seems to strongly believe that this problem is very wrong and it should not be happening.- Cambodia, Thailand, and Asia are the countries that take part in doing this frequently- the Thai Army blocked access from the U.N refugee agency to interview any of the Hmong asylum seekers about this issue- false claims were made against the Hmong refugees unfairly- Asia has no real framework for the protection of refugees- the 1951 Refugee Convention (standard for the treatment of refugees) has been signed by very few Asian governments
Environmental Refugees Unable to Return HomeJanuary 3, 2010 TIMESThis article is talks about environmental refugees having to leave from their home in Korail, Bangladesh and move to the megacity of Dhaka. These refugees are forced to move from their homes because of river erosion and lack of job opportunities. These refugees are the not prepared for any changes and have no money put aside which forces them to only move within their own country. Moving to the megacity, even though it gets them out of their area, is not enough when they are only making $1 or $2 a day. These mega city's are constantly being filled with more and more refugees and there is just no room for them.- at least 12 million people live in Dhaka, with 400,000 new residents coming in yearly- Dhaka is expected to be an area which may be affected by climate change- nearly half of the residents of Dhaka live in slums or shantytowns- the estimated number of people affected by environmental disasters and forced to move is approximately 3 million people- environmental refugees rarely expect climate change and have to find a place to live in within their own country because they don't have enough money to move anywhere else
Getting asylum the luck of the draw?March 4, 2011 : Nicholas Keung
This article talks about how refugee claims are being, or were being unfairly accepted or declined. It is believed that their is biased acceptances and declines of refugee status being made. It explains how it can be predicted if a refugee claim will be accepted or declined based on which board member looks at their claim and this should not be possible. This article talks about how it is not fair to the people making these claims that may very well be truthful claims. These refugees may be getting sent back to a country where they will likely face prosecution, death, or torture. The point of view in this article is pro-refugee.- no asylums were granted by David McBean is 2007,2008, or 2009- a refugee whos claim was dismissed can only apply for review by the federal court- "expedited cases" have a higher acceptance rate- refugee board members are paid on average between $102,300 and $120,400- the acceptance rate of refugees from Mexico is 11%
Crackdown on bogus refugees still collecting welfare
June 6,2012 - Tom Godfrey
This article talks about refugees who have come into Canada and have gone back to their home countries, but are still collecting welfare. These refugees are not being tracked and followed, making it hard to determine whether these people are in fact still living in the country or not. This article also speaks about refugees who have had their claims dismissed/refused, and are living illegally in Canada and collecting welfare. The money of tax payers is going to individuals who are in Canada illegally or not here at all. The point of view of this article is a positive one on the residents of Canada, saying that their money should go to those who really need it and are here legally.- 60% of refugees and immigrants coming into Canada come into Ontario- millions are being given to individuals who may be in Canada illegally, or may not be living in Canada at all- refugees can get away with getting money from the government by not reporting to border authorities about their departure- this program would compare the names of refused claims with those collecting welfare in order to track down those who are collecting this money- 21,400 people are currently being searched for immigration warrants in the Toronto area
July 11, 2012 - Peter Worthington
This article talks about a sort of bribery done by Canada. If a refugee goes through the process and their claim is refused, if agreed that they will not go through the appeal process, they will be given up to $2000 each and a free one way ticket home. This author talks about how although this is a very generous thing to do for others, it is odd that they are being paid to leave. It talks about how it is quite uncommon to have your refugee claim refused by Canada. Even those who have had their claims refused and are scheduled to be deported are receiving free healthcare, accommodation and welfare. The point of view of this article is a negative towards refugees and positive towards Canadians.- 15% of 100,000 refugees are rejected annually- approximately 7000 refugees may be accepted for this ($2000 and free transportation)- this method is generous but also saves the country millions of dollars- Canada is one of the few countries that use this method, along with Britain- this method is used to get rid of people who are unwanted for different reasons
Freedom of speech, not disruption
July 17, 2012 - Lorne Gunter
This article talks about how Bashir Mohamed, a 17 year old boy from Edmonton that stood up in the middle of a speech by federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney and began his own. Bashir is against the proposition that health benefits to those waiting on their claims to be reviewed should be stopped. Bashir was offered to speak to Kenney after his speech but refused and was later arrested. The author explains how as much as some believe that this was freedom of speech, it was done to embarass Kenney. The point of view of this article is on the negative side of refugees.- health benefits to those awaiting an answer on their refugee claim has been halted- these health benefits we stopped because Canadian citizens are not given these benefits from their health plans- the true intention of Bashir and his friends is being questioned- Bashir and his friends had an opportunity to speak one on one with Kenney before his speech- Bashir and his friends also had an opportunity to speak one on one with Kenney after his speech but refused
Italy abandoning refugees to poverty and isolation, says report
September 18,2012 - Tom Kington
This article talks about how refugees are being allowed into Italy but are not being properly cared for once they begin to live in Italy. These refugees are escaping their own country only to come into a country where they are being abandoned and are forced to live in poverty and isolation. Refugee status is granted by Italy greatly and then help from Italy afterwards is no where to be found. In the article, the author mentions investigators finding an abandoned building with hundreds of refugees living inside in poor conditions. Ethnic minorities are also being put into segregated camps around Italy. The point of view of this article is a negative point of view on the methods used by the Italian Government.- 800 refugees from Africa were found living in an abandoned eight-storey building- there are a total of 8 bathrooms for those 800 refugees- these refugees cannot access schools or healthcare- among the walls of the building there are flooded areas, contagious illnesses being passed around, and illegal and unsafe electricity- these refugees have very little work available around them and no rights whatsoever
Volunteer clinics overwhelmed by refugees with no health care
September 30, 2012 : Nicholas Keung
This article talks about how refugees are being shut down by clinics because of their refugee papers and other clinics are being overwhelmed. These volunteer clinics allow uninsured patients to come in and seek medical attention but with all these clinics shutting down refugees, their own clinics are being filled with patients. The amount of people is not the only thing that has become a problem, the people coming in are also continuing to be sicker and sicker. These clinics are having to go into their own piggy banks to pay for medication and other medical procedures needed by the patients. The point of view of this article is pro-refugee, that they deserve help just as much as everybody else.- the Scarborough Community Volunteer Clinic and the Muslim Welfare Center Clinic are two nearby mainstays for individuals who are uninsured- patient load has gone from 10 to more than 25 per shift at the Scarborough location- patient volume has gone from 25 to 50/monthly- medications are scares- in order for a refugee to have a procedure done, a physician must call a number to check their refugee health plan
Detain all refugee claimants
October 11,2012
This article talks about how it is not possible for border officials to truly determine if an individual is a potential risk or if they should be detained. It talks about how tax payers money is going towards these asylum seekers waiting to be accepted into the country or refused and sent back home. This process can take years to complete. The author explains how refugees cause a strain on public education systems and is unfair to legal refugees. The solution that is stated in this article is that all refugee applicants be detained for up to a year until their claim is looked at and either refused or accepted. The point of view in this article is negative towards asylum seekers, and positive towards Canadians and legal refugees.- refugee claims can take anywhere between months and years to be accepted or refused- thousands of individuals who attempted to claim refugee status has been lost track of (some of which are criminals and terrorists)- tax payers pay money to support whether willingly or not, these asylum seekers- there is a shortage ESL teachers, which puts a strain on schools because of all of the refugees coming in- the Balanced Refugee Reform Act is said to reduce the time a refugee claimant has to wait, saving us money and the country money
Acceptance rates for refugees to Canada decline substatially since 2006:
November 01, 2012 : Debra Black (Immigration Reporter)
This article talks about how the acceptance rates for refugees has decreased majorly since 2006, Canada has always been a place where refugees look to when they are forced to leave their country. The author states that these statistics of the recent rates that we are allowing refugees in shows that we as a country are not helping individuals as much as we should be. She states how credibility of refugees has become difficult recently, visa requirements has also put a block on which, and how many refugees come into Canada. The point of view of this article is positive towards refugees being able to come into Canada without as many problems as they face now.- a few of the top 10 countries where refugees came from in 2011 were Hungary, China, Pakistan, Columbia, Namibia, Mexico and Nigeria was 31%- acceptance rate in 2006 was 47%- in 2011, acceptance rates were under 10% by at least 7 panel members- refugees have 15 days to find a lawyer and prepare a written statement making acceptance difficult- there has been too much focus put on bogus and fraudulent refugees- the Canadian government has been questioning its role when it comes to protecting refugees

Changes to refugee system: Immigration Minister Jason Kenney lays out criteria for ‘safe’ countries
November 30, 2012 : Nicholas Keung
This article talks about how their is a new list of countries deemed as 'safe' countries , meaning applicants from those countries will receive a quicker response on their application for refugee status. These 'safe' countries means that the country is capable of handling their own people. The author speaks about how it is said that this method will stop fraudulent refugees from claiming refugee status. For a country to be deemed as 'safe', they are assessed on different criteria's in order to fit into this category The point of view of this article is unfair towards refugees who need to escape prosecution or worse.- in 2011, 5% of refugees abandoned their cases- in 2011, 10% of refugee claimants had their cases withdrawn- 23 countries were stripped of appeal rights- these awaiting response cannot work in Canada unless their claim has been in the system for more than 180 days- these awaiting response cannot apply for healthcare coverage
A life in exile: how it feels to be a refugeeDecember 14, 2012 - Andrew McConnell
This article talks about the stories of many different individuals and what they had to go through as refugees. The author talks about how the lives of these innocent people were stripped away by extremists and by corrupt governments. The point of view on this topic is pro-refugee, that everyone deserves a chance.
- soldiers were unfair to residents of Thailand, raping women
- the China movement was banned on July 20, 1999
- the FLDR often attacked residents of Rwanda
- in 2006 a peace agreement was signed by Sudan and Arab countries but it did not last
- until 1989 the Nepalese in Bhutan were allowed to practice their customs

Refugee Statistics for 2011:

Refugees & IDPs: A Global Concern Map:

There is no question about it, refugees are a very critical world issue. More and more people are having their lives jeopardized because of war, natural disasters, and climate changes etc. Often of the time, refugees are looked at as vulnerable people, but they are also looked at as people who are faking "refugee status" to get free healthcare, for economic reasons etc. Many times refugees are mislabeled as immigrants and are hated on because of it. Refugees are a critical world issue, something that everyone should be concerned about and aware of because we have a responsibility in Canada. There are people losing their lives everyday because of prosecution, race, and nationality. The least we could do is allow them some kind of safe haven in our country.

The category that this issue fits in with is the political category. It fits in this category because many governments across the world are at the root of the refugee problem. Many governments try to enforce new laws or new ways of running their country and things get out of hand. This may mean starting conflict between different groups who may not agree with the new way and this means punishment for them. This is where corrupt governments come into the picture and people literally fear for their well being and are forced to leave their country.

Over the years it has become a more difficult issue, a more complicated one. Refugees are starting to be picked and poked at more carefully than before. There are different systems put in place, different than in the earlier years. Now there are certain countries picked out which are deemed "safe countries," which by the way is totally discriminatory against refugees. Just because a country is deemed "safe" by someone does not mean that there are not people who need to leave for fear of prosecution or other things. In the future I believe that it will only become worse with higher restrictions on refugees.

Refugees are prevalent in Afghanistan, Asia, parts of Asia, Iraq, Somalia, Columbia, and Syria. Refugees however can come from many parts of the world. I believe they are more prevalent in those areas because the government isn't quite set up as it should be and there is much discrimination going on. The conditions of living in many of those places are poor.

There are a few viewpoints on refugees. Some people believe that refugees are just people who need to flee their country because they fear for their life. These people seek refugee in a more developed country most of the time and have to start their lives all over again once they arrive (if granted refugee status). A few may believe that some claiming "refugee status" are just in it for economic reasons, free healthcare etc. To them, people claiming "refugee status" are just people looking to mooch off of a wealthy country. Others may support refugees and what they have to do, but may be against refugees entering their own country. They fear that refugees are going to overcrowd their country and take all their jobs, which in fact refugees would usually take any job they they can get.

There is a huge difference in the perspectives on refugees when it comes to less developed countries and more developed countries. MDC's often believe that it is their duty to assist others when they can. If they have the power, the money, and the space for refugees, that their is no reason why they should not lend a helping hand. However, many MDC's believe that there are refugees who try to claim refugee status to mooch off the generosity of other countries. There are refugees who do in fact do that, however it is unfair to label all refugees as 'moochers. I believe that LDC's think that they don't even have enough money for themselves, why should they let more people in to just cram them in even more and take up their land.

Two other categories that this critical world issue relate to are the social, and environmental categories. Social because often times there are people who need to leave their country because they are part of a social-political group and fear prosecution. Environmental because often times there are also people who need to flee their country for environmental reasons. These people are called Environmental Refugees. Natural disasters such as tsunamis, hurricanes, and volcanoes often times force people to flee their homes (if they even have one left) and seek a life in a new place.