Displaced within the displaced

Nearly 300 people evacuated from Afghanistan land at the Torrejón de Ardoz airbase after fleeing Taliban terror on August 24, 2021.

You do not. You do not. You do not. You do not. You do not. You do not. You do not. You do not. You do not. you do Spain did something like this in the face of the asylum requests that it resolved in 2021, accepting one in ten. But the most surprising thing is that it represents an improvement of almost double compared to the previous year, —yes, the one at the start of the pandemic—, in which it barely accepted 5%. In any case, it is still very far from the average rate of the countries of the European Union, which is around 35%.

In less than 12 months, Spain has made progress in its asylum policy that until then the Government would have described as impossible. Measures such as enabling legal ways so that whoever flees to save his life does not have to risk it along the way he sounded like an utopia of NGOs and ‘goodists’. But it was done. In just a few days in August 2021, more than 2,000 people fleeing Taliban terror were offered displacement.

However, according to data from the Ministry of the Interior, that same year only 410 people were able to request asylum at embassies and consulates and Spain maintained the obstacles that make it impossible for people fleeing conflicts such as Yemen, Syria or Palestine to reach to our territory without putting in the hands of the mafias. A few months earlier, the Government decided to expire thousands of migrants who arrived in Ceuta, in just a few hours and without giving them any possibility that they could ask for asylum. As a result of this fortress Europe, the dead continued to pile up in the Mediterranean.

The invasion of Ukraine has shown that European countries, whenever they want, can organize international solidarity in record time. But it has also revealed the hypocrisy of the countries of the European Union towards people who are also fleeing human rights violations in other countries.Virginia Álvarez, Refugee and Migration Researcher at Amnesty International in Spain

With the invasion of Ukraine —luckily— all the red lights of the Spanish and European asylum system went off again. In Spain, new reception resources were deployed in a few days, procedures were streamlined thanks to reception centers, telephone numbers were provided to obtain information, work permits were offered in 24 hours and all Ukrainians who lived without papers in Spain before of the Russian invasion. The never seen.

In this sense, in its report on the situation during 2021, the Spanish Commission for Refugee Aid (CEAR) lamented the “disparate criteria” and “delays in appointments” that occurred during that year. Given this, the entity claims “equal treatment” for those who request asylum “regardless of their origin or provenance.”

Asylum resolutions in SpainAsylum resolutions in Spain

Europe opened its arms to the Ukrainian population. A directive was activated for the first time since it was passed twenty years ago to ensure protection for those escaping from Russian troops. Without limits or quotas of distribution to the fall as until recently. The European Commissioner for Home Affairs celebrated this “historic decision” in this tweet.

A few months earlier, in November 2021, Europe had looked the other way at the departure of ping-pong between Poland and Belarus that was played on their borders. The ball was hundreds of people who lived in a makeshift camp for weeks in sub-zero temperatures.

In the United Kingdom, the government also approved as an exceptional measure the reception of up to 200,000 Ukrainians, provided they had a family bond with residents in the country. However, the same Executive has approved a plan to expel hundreds of asylum seekers to Rwanda without seeming to care much about the will of, for example, Afghans, Iraqis or Syrians to whom this transfer applies. Last week the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg halted the first return of deportation.

“The invasion of Ukraine has shown that European countries, whenever they want, can organize international solidarity in record time. But it has also exposed the hypocrisy of the countries of the European Union in the face of people who are also fleeing human rights violations from other countries”, he points out to El HuffPost Virginia Álvarez, refugee and migration researcher for Amnesty International in Spain.

A woman feeds her baby in the camp on the border between Belarus and Poland in November 2021.A woman feeds her baby in the camp on the border between Belarus and Poland in November 2021.

Thus, we see how limits that seemed insurmountable have been overcome, helping millions of people fleeing from the danger of dying from one day to the next, but this exceptional treatment has made the situation of the other refugees, the second-class refugees, even more unjustifiable. , those who flee from conflicts that barely appear on the news, those who do not have such blue eyes, to whom very few want to open their houses. At least no one can say that asylum policies cannot be improved. The response to the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine are proof that you can, when you want, of course.

Facts that give the chills

According to UNHCR, at the end of 2021 the total number of people forcibly displaced from their homes exceeded 89 million people. Now, just half a year later, mainly due to the conflict in Ukraine, the figure has risen to 100 million. If all the displaced people in the world formed a country, it would be the fourteenth most populous, ahead of Egypt, Vietnam or Germany.

In the last decade the number of people forced to flee has doubled. The organizations point out both the appearance of new conflicts and the chronification of the previous ones, as well as the consequences of climate change.

There are already more than 7 million people who would have fled the conflict in Ukraine. This represents the largest exodus since the Second World War.

At least 2,048 people died in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, while 1,109 people lost their lives on their journey to the Canary Islands, which marks a macabre record on this route, which remains one of the most dangerous in the world. .

Only one European country, Germany, is among the top ten host countries in the world with 1.2 million refugees on its territory.

Source: HuffPost Spain for Athena2 by www.huffingtonpost.es.

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