photo: Eddy van Wessel


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Syrian refugees lured to Europe by a cheaper route and false stories

Europe is caught in a crisis it cannot contain. After years of discouraging and strict asylum laws, refugees are now traveling there by the thousands.

They want to get away from war, but at the same time they are misinformed. When I spoke to Syrians wanting to leave the relative safety of Iraqi Kurdistan, I found out they had misconceptions about the rules and regulations awaiting refugees in the EU. They had been told by those who had reached Europe that it will be easy, and that they will be provided with a house and a job.

I spoke to a Syrian mother who had taken her 6-year-old daughter with her on a boat from Bodrum in Turkey to the Greek Island of Kos, before stepping for fear of drowning. I asked her how she could risk splitting the family by leaving her husband and son behind. She was convinced that they would be allowed to join her in a couple of months and that the authorities would even pay for their ticket.

Migrants have for decades been lured by stories of an easy ride to permanent residence. But these stories omit the hardship, the camps, the long wait, the bureaucracy, the animosity, the prohibition to work whilst still in process, the negative decisions on their case to be appealed and often lost.

Yet again refugees take the same bait. Facebook is playing a major role in making this trip attractive and telling people of the possibilities, the routes and costs.

Read the whole story here

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