Migration crisis: how big a security threat it is?

 

 

commissioner-avramopoulos-greece-2017

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, travelled to Delphi in order to deliver a speech during the Delphi Economic Forum. © European Union , 2016 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Yorgos Karahalis.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mrs Lizzy Morgan. The writer is the Medsin-UK’s director of finance. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The recent refugee crisis, the largest since World War II, has triggered a lot of debate (Unicef 2016). Media outlets in the West were particularly vocal, as were politicians and humanitarian workers. These actors framed the crisis as a security problem, a phenomenon which I found particularly interesting. A situation such as this should surely be interpreted as a humanitarian emergency, but instead was manipulated to become a threat.

A report by the Cardiff School of Journalism was commissioned by UNHCR in order to explore the difference of media coverage between the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and Sweden (Berry et al 2015). It found that UK media focussed on threat themes, for example to the welfare system, or cultural threats. In addition, out of all five countries, the UK media coverage was the most negative, and the most polarised, with right-wing media being particularly aggressive.

We can see this trend with politicians too, as they portrayed migrants as dangerous and suspicious. Conservative MP David Davies has been advocating for dental tests to prove migrants are under 18, despite arguments that such tests are inconclusive and unreliable (BBC News 2016). David Cameron, the then Prime Minister, referred to migrants as a “swarm”, before reassuring Britons that he would ensure they had a “safe and secure holiday” (The Independent 2015).

By posing the situation as a security threat, the general public of the UK are made to feel frightened about a common enemy. This common enemy therefore serves to unite the nation as very few other things can and we can see politicians taking advantage of this rare unity. The materialisations of this fear and unity are stark. They range from an increase in racially-motivated attacks, to the political result of Brexit as politicians capitalise on the national common fear to be exploited (Anon 2016).

This situation and the presentation of it as a security problem is just one sign of a much larger theme. We can see similar securitisation of the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the implications of such a trend need to be seriously considered. By viewing people as a threat, they are separated from ourselves and viewed as threatening, lesser beings, which is extremely dangerous.

These ideas can easily and rapidly morph into sinister actions of racism and hate-crime, some of which has already materialised for example with the murder of Arkadiusz Jozwik, a Polish national, on August 31st 2016 in Harlow, Essex (Anon 2016).

The migrant crisis has shown us how easy it is for humans to lose their humanity. By forgetting that migrants are desperate people who need humanitarian assistance, we have allowed them to die at our borders, and live in camps in terrible conditions.

The problem of ignoring them is only growing, with 4,690 people drowning in the Mediterranean sea in 2016, the largest number ever recorded (Ghannam 2016).The situation desperately calls for us all to see through these claims of a security threat and instead see the situation for what it is- a humanitarian disaster.

About the author

Lizzy Morgan is a Medsin-UK’s director of finance. She is currently undertaking an MA in Humanitarian and Conflict Response in Manchester, taking a break from her medical degree at the University of Leeds. She is an avid global health and running enthusiast.

Reference List

BBC News. (2016). How do you verify the age of child asylum seekers?. [online]. Available from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37687916 [Accessed December 29, 2016].

Anon. (2016). Hate crime: the facts behind the headlines. Civitas.

Berry M, Garcia-Blanco I, Moore K. (2015). Press Coverage of the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in the EU: A Content Analysis of Five European Countries. Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies.

Ghannam M. (2016). Search and rescue: Fear and joy on the Mediterranean. Msf.org.uk. [online]. Available from: https://www.msf.org.uk/article/search-and-rescue-fear-and-joy-mediterranean [Accessed December 29, 2016].

The Independent. (2015). David Cameron description of migrant ‘swarm’ condemned as ‘irresponsible’ and ‘extremely inflamatory’ by human rights group. [online]. Available from: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/calais-crisis-live-david-cameron-says-swarm-of-illegal-migrants-will-not-be-offered-safe-haven-10426083.html [Accessed December 29, 2016].

Unicef. (2016). UNICEF CEE/CIS – Resources – Latest on the refugee and migrant crisis. Unicef.org. [online]. Available from: https://www.unicef.org/ceecis/resources_28329.html [Accessed December 29, 2016].

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Five years down the drain

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “No other problem has jeopardised the EU as much as the refugee question” Joachim Gauck, President of the Federal Republic of Germany, cries out from Davos

For how long and at what cost can the ECB continue printing trillions to keep euro area going?

Eurozone business activity again on upwards path

Innovation and Entrepreneurship Changing the Face of Europe

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

ECB will be the catalyst of Eurozone’s reunification

Chinese “BeiDou” GPS goes to market

Volkswagen getting away with it in Europe

IMF v Germany: Eurogroup keeps the fight under control

How will the NATO-EU competition evolve in the post Brexit era?

EU to gain the most from the agreement with Iran

The UK referendum has already damaged Europe: even a ‘remain’ result is not without cost to Britain and the EU

EU Commission expects consumer spending to unlock growth

EU responds to terror fallout by eroding borderless Europe and molesting the refugees

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

Building cybersecurity capacity through benchmarking: the Global Cybersecurity Index

The 28 EU leaders show contempt for the European Elections results

COP21 Breaking News_08 December: Cities & Regions Launch Major Five-Year Vision to Take Action on Climate Change

MWC 2016 LIVE: T-Mobile US reveals 5G trial plans

EU Commission: Growth first then fiscal consolidation

The EU and North Korea: A Story of Underestimation

UN member states express their will to tackle global migration but specific actions are still missing

Will Turkey abandon the refugee deal and risk losing a bonanza of money?

Capital transaction tax on Ecofin table

A European young student shares his thoughts on Quality Education

“Working together to make a change at the COP 21 in Paris”, an article by Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU

Galileo funding: A ‘small’ difference of €700 million

Merry Christmas from Erdogan, Putin, Mogherini and the Polish firefighter

Except Poland, can climate change also wait until 2021 for the EU Market Stability Reserve to be launched?

Early signs of growth in Eurozone?

China Unlimited Special Report: The trip to China

The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

NEC @ MWC14: “Smart cities” hold the key to enhancing citizens’ lives and cutting costs

IMF: How can Eurozone avoid stagnation

The West and Russia accomplished the dismembering and the economic destruction of Ukraine

The EU Commission predicts a decimated growth in the next years

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Commitments Made to Reduce Black Carbon, Methane and HFCs

A reflection of health inequity in recent epidemics

Transition between education and employment: how the internship culture is threatening the foundations of our education

EU decides “in absentia” of civil society

European Youth Forum welcomes establishment of new Youth Intergroup in the European Parliament

‘Internal security’ or how to compromise citizens’ rights and also make huge profits

On youth unemployment: unemployment is even bleaker for youth with disabilities

Two major EU projects falter; the Schengen Agreement now freezes and Eurozone fails to resolve the Greek enigma

The cuts on 2014 Budget will divide deeply the EU

Businesses succeed internationally

Banks suffocate the real economy by denying loans

Eurozone: The cycle of deficits, debts and austerity revisited

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s