SEATTLE — It has been a longstanding political debate for countries around the world whether to welcome and protect refugee immigrants. Opinions on this refugee protection debate vary drastically in different regions of the world.
Approximately 84 percent of the world’s refugees currently reside in the southern hemisphere legally. In other parts of the globe, such as Canada, refugees entering the country illegally have lost their protection and risk deportation upon arrival.
Refugees seeking protection in the global south face challenges due to the area’s political violence, instability, authoritarianism, lack of respect for human rights, child labor, high unemployment and poverty.
According to News Deeply, refugee protection requires political and social stability. Wealthier states have attempted methods of political and military intervention to assist with these issues in the global south. However, this involvement has created a new displacement and insecurities for locals as well as refugees.
Another issue that refugees in the global south face is a lack of employment opportunities. Many countries in the global south have restrictions on refugees’ right to work, although they face constant pressure from the U.N. Refugee Agency to extend protections.
While countries in the global south continue to protect refugees, they are becoming more and more unstable in their politics and military, posing a great challenge for refugees seeking protection in this area of the world.
Similarly, refugees throughout Asia are having difficulty finding opportunities for education, healthcare and employment. Despite this, East Asia is leading the way with the most countries implementing laws and policies to protect refugees.
One of these countries is Taiwan, which has supported a draft refugee bill since 2016. Although Taiwan is currently devoid of any direct refugee protection legislation, it is working toward a future where refugees are legally protected. Should Taiwan’s draft refugee bill pass, it could become a leader in nations offering refugee protection.
While some countries are working toward greater refugee protection, others experience issues in their attempts to welcome refugees. Canada has experienced an overflow of Haitian refugees who faced deportation in the United States.
Despite Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stating that Canada was an open safe haven for refugees, the country was unprepared for the subsequent influx of them. In March 2014, the Canadian government lifted its temporary protection policy of Haitian refugees, and many deportations ensued.
The Canadian government is doing everything in its power to reverse the need for deportations, and the Canadian military recently announced that they will build a camp near the Quebec-United States border. Additionally, authorities recently opened a temporary housing facility with capacity for 1,050 refugees.
While areas in the global south are struggling to offer refugee protection, Taiwan and other East Asian countries are moving forward in an attempt to pass refugee protection bills. Although refugee-friendly countries, such as Canada, have experienced problems and overflow in the past, they also continue to work toward a future where refugees are safe and welcome in their countries.
– Kassidy Tarala