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The Problems With Refugee Detention Camps

1308 words - 5 pages


Genocide, poverty, religious intolerance, misogynism, these are only a few of the atrocities the people in some countries face every day. What choice do they have? Their only means of escape are death or refuge. So the obvious choice is refuge. They stowaway on ships or airplanes, pack into cars, or just start walking to a country where they have a small hope of not only surviving, but living a normal life. Most of them will end up in detention camps, and most will end up in camps where the conditions are very poor. Some will apply for asylum and be in camp for an undetermined amount of time. Others will not and could be held for even longer, maybe indefinitely. The effects of detention on the human mind are debilitating, and a child growing up in detention is more likely to have serious mental health issues. Is detention necessary? Is there not another system that can be put into place for the well-being of those who are merely trying to escape persecution or death? I would like to discuss the reasons people are placed in detention camps, the conditions inside these camps, and what options are available to take care of the vast amounts of refugees.
 
Our world is no stranger to political, religious, and other types of persecution. Sometimes, as in the war in Darfur going on right now, this persecution can go as far as genocide. It is difficult to achieve complete destruction of any population because of the one thing that every living thing on the planet has in common is the instinct to survive. Many people flee to bordering countries, or even further, to escape death. Of course because of immigration laws, the people who escape cannot live freely in their new found sanctuary. This is the reason refugee detention camps were created. They can be found in many countries on almost every continent in the world. The arguments against allowing permanent residence to refugees are much like the ones against illegal immigrants. People worry about population control, jobs, crime, disease, and any other social problem people decide to connect immigrants with. When someone applies for refuge in a country this is called "asylum seeking" ("Refugees and Asylum" 2011). European countries are popular for this because they usually have stronger human rights foundations ("Refugees and Asylum" 2011). Unfortunately, because of anti-terrorism efforts, it has become increasingly hard for people to seek asylum in these countries ("Refugees and Asylum" 2011). Many asylum seekers in the past have gained citizenship, and have become normal members of society, but often times their only hope is for repatriation ("Refugees and Asylum" 2011). A problem faced by both host nations and refugees is that the accommodations given at the detention camps are meant to be temporary. They are only meant to hold the persons until the conflict in their country has stopped, but millions of refugees around the globe have been detained anywhere from 10 to almost 60 years (S....

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