SCROLL DOWN FOR INSTRUCTIONS
`Start by reading this article and discuss in your journal how current official definitions of "migrants", "refugees" and "asylum seekers" are challenged by the on-going migration crisis at the South-East borders of Europe.
You can also see Unit 2.1 for more information about irregular migration in Mediterranean region, Unit 2.2 about EU norms on asylum seeking, and Unit 2.3 on the case of Syrian refugees.
Don't forget to have a look to what others have done in their journals!
The Problem of Definition
It is obvious that the current working definitions of "migrants", "refugees" and "asylum seekers" were created more for the convenience of the 'accepting' side. In order to distinguish between the people coming to live in a country, the countries' governments decided to make 'a scale' based on the people's reasons and goals of coming. Technically speaking, all people leaving their homes in order to move to another country can be call 'migrants', because this process is nothing but migration. And only based on their particular circumstances can they be further additionally defined either as 'refugees', 'asylum-seekers', etc.
Thus, I think, by creating the terminology, wealthy countries has invented an official excuse to not allow some people to cross their borders. The main problem is the criteria used to differ between migrants. In reality, despite the existent international recommendations, rules and standards regarding the migration processes and procedures, in the end, every particular country uses its right to decide whether to allow people to enter regardless their initial reasons and goals of coming.
Todays's so called 'migration crisis' is the direct result of such an artificial approach. The 'terminology differentiation' approach had been more or less working untill the quantity of migrants became overwhelming. Therefore, EU is forced to use a new principle of 'quotas' depending on countries geographical position, population, GDP, etc. Anyway, we see that any approach of the migration regulation cannot be fully 'fair' for all migrants and naturally implies that some of them happen to be just luckier than others when they are somehow granted with such a desirable 'refugee status'.