Since the beginning of the War in Syria in 2011, many have fled the country and settled in Syria’s neighbouring countries, including Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt. Currently, there are 4 million Syrian refugees registered in the region. By mid 2015, the World Bank’s estimated cost of the War was $35 billion for the Middle Eastern countries. This load is too heavy to endure, and this is why refugees have been aiming for European countries for a couple of years.

Since March, 2011 this has been a major issue. Over 12 million Syrians have fled their homes to try and find refuge somewhere safe.  The conditions in Syria are critical; thousands have taken to the streets after losing their houses. The violence has become huge and over 200,000 have been murdered during the four and a half year Syrian civil war. There are 1.9 million Syrians in Turkey, 25,000 in Iraq, .1.1 million in Lebanon, and 80,000 in Za’atari. Germany has taken in close to 1 million refugees, while the USA has taken 2290.

Europe does not always welcome immigrants. For example, incapable of coping with crowds of Syrian refugees, Hungarians have been trying to fence off the flow of Syrians. They had to close Keleti train station in Budapest in order to not let them further into the continent. A large number of Syrian immigrants were halted on their way to Austria and taken to the camp in Bicske, not far from the Hungarian capital. The problem is that no country in the European Union has a valid immigration policy to deal with the current situation. Right now, every country has to decide on how many refugees it is willing to accept. Just very recently, Germany agreed to take in 800,000 refugees. In order to cater to the immigrants’ immediate needs, the country needs around $5 billion, and the officials believe that it is manageable. Some countries, like Denmark, refused to accept any number of Syrians.

According to the 1951 UN Refugee Convention and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, European countries have the obligation to provide asylum to those who seek it. This is not a matter of politics and economy, but of basic human rights. No person should live in fear for their life and the lives of their close ones. While European countries are deciding on whether they are going to accept the refugees and exactly how many of them, the clock is ticking. The fear of the biggest migration crisis in the past 70 years can be well understood, but it is now time to unite and provide a new home for those who need it the most. They have been suffering for many years and the majority of them are harmless. There are many children, with no education system and many who have lost their families or parents. These people have been living in critical conditions. Imagine waking up to the sound of bombs and to dead bodies all around you, or living on the streets with no food or shelter.  Over 3,200 Syrians have perished this year; from disease, starvation and other causes like that. How can we leave these human beings to suffer, knowing there is a way we could help them?

Luka Mitar