Diversity

Where is Spain in The European Migrant Crisis?

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Rory Moore is a student at the University of Denver and an ISA Featured Blogger. He is currently studying with ISA in Madrid, Spain.

If you looked at this question and said to yourself, “I have no idea!”

I just want to let you know that it makes sense why you wouldn’t have any idea. 

madrid_spain_rorymoore_photo1Look upon the sun and don’t lose hope. Madrid, Spain

Let’s go ahead and look at the following reasons why:

  1. There are over a million asylum seekers who are refugees that need to attain asylum status in order to receive the benefits of shelter, food, water, and other necessities.
  2. Most asylum seekers are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq seeking aid in Lebanon and Turkey immediately.
  3. There is an increase in Customs and Identity Checks at the Gibraltar-Spain Border.
  4. There is resistance from the Far-Right Party: Pautido Popular.
  5. The welcome criteria for refugees is not flexible.

salamanca_spain_rorymoore_photo2Transform the old into the new. Salamanca, Spain

Now, you might be asking what is the big issue?

Spain is labeled as a Schengen Area, which is comprised of 26 European countries stating that they will grant protection to refugees in dire need of assistance. However, if you recognize country distribution of refugees; it can be said that in comparison to Spain’s 13,000 asylum guarantees, countries such as Hungary, Italy, Turkey, and Greece have an influx of refugees that they are providing with as many resources as possible. This is the point in which other countries need to recognize that: if there is a country that is being overpopulated and is not able to provide resources to help the refugees then, it is the duty of other Schengen countries to help out. Yet, we are not seeing that. Furthermore, we are also seeing a huge division between nationalists and far right parties versus socialists and far left parties.

avila_spain_rorymoore_photo3Don’t let what’s standing up in front of you decoy you from progression. Avila, Spain

What needs to be addressed?

  1. We need to have conversations between far left and right parties in order to promote awareness of different cultures and identities.
  2. There needs to be better living conditions within refugee camps.
  3. Greed is destroying unity and it is causing a greater division against those in support of tackling the European Migrant Crisis, and those that are not and simply want to close borders.
  4. Re-distribute refugee placement to allow other countries to conduct their fair share of the agreement.

madrid-spain_rorymoore_photo4You are not ever alone. Madrid, Spain

The Lesson Learned Abroad: 

With all this being said, action needs to occur. When I was back home in Colorado, I was content with addressing American issues. Yet, being abroad has taught me that we, Americans, can’t be so self-centered and need to look at global issues. America is not the only country on this earth, but we act as if we are. European students know more about our democratic system than I would say a lot of Americans! So, when it comes to looking at international affairs and issues Americans need to pay attention. The European Migrant Crisis has been a huge topic and many Spaniards talk about how Spain is not taking in enough refugees. Spain to an extent, is acting as a bystander and that is not okay. You will see that you when you study abroad there are more pressing issues that need to be looked at such as civil wars, increases in death amongst refugees and the poor, disease, etc. This is all part of realizing your individuality and influence within a larger frame.

The world awaits…discover

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