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Five Things to Know About Europe’s Migrant Crisis {as a college student who may (or may not) watch the news}

1. Let’s start with the basics: what’s the difference between a migrant and a refugee?

 

Migrant: an umbrella term; for all intensive purposes, a migrant is an individual who leaves their home country for pretty much any and all reasons

 

Refugee: falls under the category of “migrant”, but goes a little further.  A refugee is seeking the protection under international law that they are guaranteed.  It is an individual fleeing some kind of conflict or persecution in their home country.

 

2. Where are these migrants and refugees coming from?

 

While a number of different countries have been the home of huge groups of migrants over the years, more recently we’re seeing people fleeing mainly from countries like Afghanistan, Syria and Somalia.  With a Syrian civil war underway and conflict and unrest elsewhere, staying put is not a viable option for many families and individuals.

 

3. Where are they going?

 

With neighboring countries such as Turkey and Jordan unable to hold the number of refugees fleeing, many people are looking to Europe to be their destination.  The journey to European borders is dangerous leading to thousands of deaths.  As of this week, the EU ministers have put into effect a plan that pushes all European countries in the EU to take in a certain amount of refugees.

 

4. What’s the latest scoop?

 

European leaders have met and are working to alleviate the crisis.  Measures like supplying aid the Middle Eastern countries and protecting borders have been taken; yet a concrete and united response from the EU is still a ways away.  These European leaders will meet again in October.

 

5. How can we (the US of A) help?

 

Even though the crisis isn’t on our soil, it’s our problem as well.  Outside of government involvement, we can donate money and supplies (Amazon is running a registry to send helpful supplies to refugees awaiting entry to the UK!!!). 

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