Politicians and peacekeepers responsible for containing the chaos of the global refugee crisis have lost the ability to do so. The new response to this uncertain era has been to pull back from helping refugees resettle and integrate into new communities.Instead, repatriation has become the preferred option.
The cornerstone to the 1951 Refugee Convention is the concept of non-refoulement. This means that refugees cannot be forcibly returned to the country they are fleeing. But the scope of the situation has pushed funding to the limit.
Donor fatigue has resulted in reductions of aid for camps. Countries attempt to shirk responsibility by paying asylum seekers hard cash to withdraw their claims. Many are caught between living in a country without dignity versus returning to a country without security.
What does “voluntary” mean when none of your options are good? Is the present climate incentivising sending people back into harm’s way?