Sunday, April 02, 2017

"Willed Dying" - Uppgivenhetssyndrom

More than 90% of migrants from Syria and Iraq have direct experience of bombing, says study. 85% had directly experienced explosive violence.

In total, 69% had witnessed shelling, 61% airstrikes, 58% improvised explosive device (IED) attacks and 39% suicide bombings. More than two-thirds said that they or their family had been directly affected and nearly half said that their homes had been obliterated.

These figures help to explain why so many people are forced to flee their homelands and seek sanctuary in other countries. These people are not fleeing out of choice, they are doing what any of us would do if we and our families were living with armed violence raining down danger and terror on our homes – they are trying to get away to a safe place. The blog believes that if more people in the world will understand this they'd do more to help protect refugees.

Iain Overton, executive director of Action on Armed Violence explained, Our findings show that the refugee crisis in Europe has been categorically fuelled by explosive violence, but that states and some sections of the media are not making this connection. ” Overton said that Britain’s approach to refugees fleeing war zones had been disappointing. Despite Iraq being the world’s worst affected country over the last six years, only 12% of applicants from Iraq were granted asylum in the UK last year. The average figure across the EU was 85%. The UK accepted more refugees from Albania (346) than from Iraq (216).“When more refugees in the UK have been granted leave to remain from Albania than from Iraq it is clear that the British government are ignoring the very real impact that explosive weapons have had,” he said.

Since 2011, the group has collated 233,949 warfare-related deaths and injuries using English-language news sources. More than three-quarters of these casualties were civilians. 

YAZAN, 28, FROM IDLIB, SYRIA, now living in London after arriving in Britain in September 2015 describes Britain’s asylum process as “dehumanising”. At one point he says he was forced to sign a paper he was not allowed to read.

AHMAD, 26, FROM TIKRIT, IRAQ, now living in London after arriving in Britain in June 2016. Ahmad’s two brothers were killed in the violence that has engulfed Iraq for the past 14 years. The main threat was from the militias which, he says, can be worse than Islamic State. Ahmad decided to leave, travelling to Syria, Turkey, Greece and then across Europe. He reached the refugee camp in Calais with the hope of joining his uncle in Britain. Last June he smuggled himself across the Channel in the back of a truck. Ahmad’s asylum application was rejected, with the UK saying he could move to another area in Iraq. He is now waiting to appeal. “There is danger everywhere,” he says.

Authorities in Sweden are attempting to solve a problem that appears unique to its child refugees - uppgivenhetssyndrom or "resignation syndrome". The condition causes healthy youngsters to deteriorate into a comatose-like state after learning of their impending deportation.  The syndrome, sees the children rendered “totally passive, immobile, lacks tonus, withdrawn, mute, unable to eat and drink, incontinent and not reacting to physical stimuli or pain,” according to medical journal Acta P√¶diatrica. The children are left bedridden or have to be moved in wheelchairs and feeding must be done through a tube. Doctors view the condition as the manifestation of fear of being returned to their old countries, where they could be unsafe, and of adjusting to a new society after having become used to Sweden. Many of those afflicted with uppgivenhetssyndrom are not victims of the current crisis, but from former Soviet states. Many are from minority groups, such as Roma gypsies.  The main ‘cure’ for the condition is for refugee families to be awarded residency permits – something even recognised by the Swedish Board of Health and Welfare. Improvements in the children’s condition usually occur several months after a family has been granted leave to remain. But this does not guarantee families of children with uppgivenhetssyndrom will be allowed to stay, particularly since Sweden has tightened rules on refugees in recent years. There have been reports of deported children still in comatose-like states months after they have been returned to their family’s country of origin.

The psychological syndrome is described by some doctors as “willed dying” and often occurred after families were denied asylum status and thrown into uncertainty.  A similar phenomenon was observed in Nazi concentration camps in prisoners who had effectively lost all hope and given up. 

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