With almost 1% of the world’s population homeless and seeking a better, safer life, a global crisis is under way, exacerbated by a lack of political cooperation – and several states, including the United Kingdom, are flouting international agreements designed to deal with the crisis.
According to Mukesh Kapila, professor of humanitarian affairs at Manchester university and a UN adviser.
“We live in an age where even established principles of humanity and decency are under constant threat,” he said. “In an age where politicians can be elected to power on platforms of lies, and established norms are under threat, there is something to be said for even anodyne statements reiterating our principles… The humanitarian organisations are rubbing their hands in glee at being able to patronise and criticise. I challenge their self-serving leaders to propose practical solutions, because a safety valve of free movement which only helps those with the capacity and strength to travel is no solution … I have sympathy for people fleeing illegally for a better life – one can’t blame them – but the people facing real poverty cannot put one foot in front of another, let alone migrate across oceans and desert: you only do that if you are fleeing real persecution, or are young and strong and your family have gathered the money together… we need now to concentrate on root causes of large population migrations, celebrate those with the ability and courage to stay where they are, when they can, and help solve the myriad causes of unhappiness in the world.”