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Refugees in Georgia
10 September, 2015
The people of Syria see the Assad regime weakening, and considering who may take over and what they might do, hundreds of thousand are fleeing towards Europe. There is no clear agreement on how many refugees EU members should take and how they should be dealt with and the numbers are big enough, not only from Syria but also from Eritrea, Libya and elsewhere, to leave the governments paralyzed. Some governments run by right wing or nationalistic governments like Slovakia
and Hungary, are violating international agreements and mistreating refugees. This has been going on for some time. But what has moved the public more than anything was a photograph of a three year old Kurdish boy, face down on a beach in Turkey who had drowned with his sister and mother and washed ashore.

For the last twenty years, Georgia has been spared mass movements of people; there have been a few migrants to Georgia, but no mass migration. If Turkey feels it is overrun with people from Syria, it will ask Georgia to take some. Many other scenarios could lead to massive movements of people into Georgia. What would we do and what should we do in this case?

2015 has seen a greater increase in the amount of refugees and a greater total number of refugees than ever before in the world. Most are headed to Europe because it is the nearest safe continent but the numbers are even more staggering in other countries. Lebanon has been affected the most. A quarter of the people now living in Lebanon are refugees.

Some governments tend to blame things on foreigners and refugees are always a ready target. They are obviously from somewhere else. The present a good opportunity for a nationalistic government to use divisive rhetoric to deflect attention from their own shortcomings. This happens everywhere. But the question remains: What are our responsibilities when refugees arrive? Our legal responsibilities are one thing, but our moral responsibilities are another and it is an important question to ask everybody. This century will be a century of refugees because of climate change
In the five years before the war started in Syria, it had the worst drought in its history. There was mass movement of previously prosperous farmers into cities. The autocratic government did nothing, discontent flooded the streets and fighting started. Neighbors got involved, along with different constituent groups within the country and hundreds of thousands have been killed. Even after the Arab Spring started few predicted that the ever-stable Assad regime would be vulnerable. But they looked at it politically rather than demographically, and didn’t understand the results of the drought.

For the last twenty years, Georgia has been spared mass movements of people, there have been a few migrants to Georgia, but no mass migration. If Turkey feels it is overrun with people from Syria, it will ask Georgia to take some. Many other scenarios could lead to massive movements of people into Georgia. What would we do and what

should we do in this case?

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