Intelligent solutions to respond to the global refugee crisis

Migrants are seen on a capsizing boat before a rescue operation by Italian navy ships off the coast of Libya. Migrants are seen on a capsizing boat before a rescue operation by Italian navy ships off the coast of Libya. © 2016 Marina Militare/Handout via REUTERS

In an unprecedented step, the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group (ICG) has called on leaders for better coordination in the global refugee crisis, with an important, ambitious, and inspiring statement.

The rise in conflicts internationally has led to increasing movements of refugees to seek safety. To date, there are about 60 million refugees and internally displaced people worldwide. The greatest number of refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia.

The lack of a coherent International response has put overwhelming pressure on frontline states regarding economic, social, human rights, political and security challenges, leading to questions about the implications on future generations, already bearing the effects of the International economic crisis. Failure to address the challenges of the refugee crisis risks further migration flows from war-ravaged countries.

While the majority of the world’s displaced populations have sought refuge and are in neighbouring countries, with the largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, the alarm is exacerbated by the effects it has had on Europe. Developing countries have borne the influx of refugees for years without the international attention Europe is receiving.

Furthemore, the crisis has highlighted the fragility of the European response bringing into question its existence as a political union, considered to have been a successful peaceful entity for most of its existence.

To ease the burden on individual states, a concerted and coordinated effort to maximise resources is required if humanitarian and human rights values, often seen as a cornerstone of the European Union,  are to be upheld, without causing mayhem and panic across the Union.

Factors bearing upon successful management of the Crisis, according to the ICG, includes managing domestic politics, security, absorptive capacity, legal obligations and International relations. It therefore calls on International institutions to play a greater role in responding to the global refugee crisis by taking the following actions:

  • Prompt financing of the humanitarian response
  • Fully respecting the rights of refugees, including speedy processing of asylum claims to ease family reunification
  • Finding long-term development solutions, beyond transit and resettlement
  • Addressing job creation as a means to local integration


In this way, it is hoped that these ambitions can turn hopes into reality.


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