Refugees, criminal or bored?

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor asylum seekers

It has been all over the news for the past months, a lot of refugees are looking for a place to stay. They have to flee from their homes because of the dangerous environment they live in. Most refugees are looking for a new life where they can live in safety but some might have different plans. They can commit crimes or even terrorist attacks; this causes harassment for the citizens of the host countries.

People are afraid these days; terrorist attacks have created a soft spot in the society of today. We are scared of what might happen and rather build a wall around all our problems instead of facing them. Refugees often travel hundreds of kilometres to reach a destination, only to be rejected by the ones who could offer help. This has various causes.

–     Terrorists pretend to be Asylum seekers only to enter a country, as side effect refugees are being segregated from society to prevent them from any terrorist actions (or other crimes)

–     Because of the economic crisis we were facing very recently, our economic circumstances aren’t as stable as they used to be. Helping refugees is expensive, this causes many countries to invest less in refugees.

–     A couple of conflicts were registered were refugees would come in conflict with other refugees and citizens. A stereotypical image is being created that refugees can’t be trusted and are seeking for problems.

If you take a quick look at the news you see hordes of angry people when an asylum seekers centre is being built  in their nearby surroundings. The citizens of these towns believe that the safety of their fellow townsfolks is in danger. What causes people to think that refugees are criminals?

There have been a couple of incidents where refugees and other immigrants were involved in a large sexual offence. Citizens of host countries are generalising the view of a refugee. Not all refugees are criminals, but some are. Does that mean we have to segregate them from society?

I think this situation only causes refugees to commit more crimes, various interviews (for example on Powned and Vara) have been held with refugees. A large majority of those interviewed people explained that they are in boredom. Could this not mean that when refugees have got nothing to do they will commit crimes?  This is only an assumption but what would be the result if we gave refugees things as education, work and shelter?

“The asylum centre felt like a prison”

I think segregating of the refugees is having an inverted result. By segregating them, we want to prevent them from committing crimes, we want our citizens to live in a safe environment that we have today. By segregating the refugees, they will get bored: they have no work and they will never be educated. Therefore, they will do various things to enjoy themselves, committing crimes might be one of those things. I have interviewed an asylum seeker, he used to be a very successful hairdresser, he said that he felt like he was locked up.

The point is that I would like to see what happens if we gave refugees more opportunities, integrate them into society and learn them how to fit in. Firstly we could just start giving them language courses.

Refugees are people as well, and just like in our society, there are people with good and bad intentions, we can’t separate people just for having a different culture. Bringing new people of which you know little into a country brings some risks, but we could solve or at least reduce the number of incidents. Not all refugees are criminals, most are people who like to develop themselves just like we do. We have to spread that view.

The thing is, we have faced a crisis, there already is a large rate of unemployment. If we let the refugees in and give them the opportunity to work, there is less space for our own citizens to work, which causes an even bigger unemployment rate. If we do not let the refugees work we will have to pay for them, not directly but in terms of Tax.  We will, either way, be confronted by the fact that the asylum seekers command an amount of money.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”

What if I say that letting the refugees work will cause more job opportunities? Not all refugees are uneducated labourers, they also have the minds to start their own company, which creates more job opportunities. Of course, this will take several years to develop, and maybe some investment too. The problem is that, if we go on with giving the refugees various resources, no development will take place. By getting them to work we will not only grow economically but we will also involve refugees in society.

We have to integrate the refugees in society, this may reduce crimes and will develop the Netherlands as a “multicultural society”. Let’s not treat refugees like animals, rescued from traps, wandering through our society aimlessly. Let’s treat them like people, how it’s supposed to be.

(Made by Amber Aerts)



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