European response towards the refugee and migrant crisis: how can we all make 2022 a year of action and respect to human rights?

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesvos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. ; The eastern Mediterranean route from Turkey to Greece has overtaken the central Mediterranean route, from North Africa to Italy, as the primary one for arrivals by sea. From January to June 2015, 68,000 people arrived in Greece, compared with 67,500 in Italy, accounting for nearly all the arrivals in the period.

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Oti Victor Nkemsinachi, a 3rd year student of Sumy state University, Ukraine. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. 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.

Human migration in itself is the movement of people from one place to another with hopes of settling either temporarily or permanently. It usually stems from reasons under certain circumstances like in search of a job, shelter or generally just with the intent of moving for personal reasons. Europe long since has been a target point for migrants as early as since the beginning of the 21st century.  According to the data from the United Nations, about 281 million people (3.6% of the world population) do not live in their country of origin.

People migrate for various reasons and most times, these reasons are beyond their control. Sadly, in recent times, migrants are being treated in various ways that are in violation of their basic human rights. These violations range from torture, detention or generally a lack of due process even to their social, economic and cultural rights. Although migration can be good for migrants, it has been a disadvantage to many leading to their human rights being trampled upon ranging from violation at transit and  international borders at the countries they travel to.


The COVID-19 pandemic has been one to create even more reasons for more diversion from the issue of migrant rights violation. We have to strive to ensure that the human rights of everyone are preserved regardless. Due to the current situation of the world, most countries might use the pandemic as a way out from the issue of the migration crisis at their borders and even within the countries.


Most issues of the migration arise from discriminatory laws enacted in various countries. These laws end up creating rather tough and substandard conditions for migrants to live in. We should make measures to ensure that these laws are amended at the very least. These laws usually stem from attitudes such as xenophobia, fear and even racism. These laws end up being enacted and over the years accrue issues and create problems for migrants. In our time, we need to make amends to these laws and correct the problems they cause; they may include displacement of families, loss of employment (which possibly could lead to destitution), etc.

Today, most migrants leave their countries due to political crisis (unrest, insecurity, terrorism and even wars). Special laws should be put in place to help people migrating to seek asylum because more often than not these people have nowhere to return to. The European Court of Human Rights is usually presiding over cases like this in European countries. Any form of discrimination taken up by the court should be handled properly and efficiently. Various factors affect migration choices which may include general inadequacy, dependence and even loss (either of property or life).


Refugee camps have been of immense aid but can only hold so many people kicked to the curb by the policies on migration. In the past, policies like this have been put up and run with. These deterrence policies cause a host of problems leading to migration crisis and as such cannot be operated with.

Lucy Mayblin once said ‘’ The main framing today is that we are facing an unprecedented problem in need of a solution. In this thinking, we need exceptional rules, and those may lead to people drowning, but since the situation is so extreme, this is a logical response.’’ These migrants should rather be received, accessed and integrated into a system that they can actually function in.


Owing to the pandemic and all past experiences we have endured a lot and have a lot more to do in the regard of the migration crisis. We should stop thinking of migration as a thing that needs stopping but rather move for better management of the situation because we should be moving towards restoring and building in 2022.


  1. The United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner

  1. OCHA: Relief Web

  1. Investigate Europe Newsletter
  1. The United Nations

About the author

Oti Victor Nkemsinachi is a 3rd year student of Sumy state University, Ukraine. He is passionate about learning, writing and always looks for innovative ways to learn and make an impact at large. At the moment, he aims at doing his very best to learn as well as impact the knowledge wherever possible. He is hardworking, relentless and puts in effort to make progress; hopes to seize the opportunities he gets to better himself and future. He belongs to a number of non-medical associations and has been part of several educational meetings both medical and beyond the scope of medicine. In his spare time, he loves to do music, fitness and research on various extracurricular topics.

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