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!
Back to square 1
Words matter. So do the definitions. The general lack of knowledge about the proper terms as well as common misunderstandings are far too often misleading the public opinion and fuelling stereotypes and prejudices.
Nonetheless, acknowledging the complexity of the current situation, I wonder if the definitions of Refugee spelt out by the Geneva Convention (1951) - or even the broader concepts used in the more “modern” Organization of African Unity Convention (1969) or the Cartagena Declaration (1984)- are really enough to cover the rights of all the people on the move?
Leaving a country because there are not real possibilities to find a decent job, is it not already a form of “forced migration”? Aren’t economic migrants and asylum seekers both “political migrants”, because of the political decisions of whom have –and want to keep- the power?
Shouldn’t the states rely on basic principles like “Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state. Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country.” (UDHR Art.13) ?