TilburgU professor: “take in more refugees”

“Migration is a phenomenon from all ages,” says Conny Rijken from Intervict. “This is a reality that we have to face, especially now that so many refugees drown in their attempt to reach Europe.” Conny Rijken is assistent professor and has researched human trafficking in countries like Eritrea. “It is important that The Netherlands do something about the problem of refugees that take the risk of crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The effects can be disastrous, as you can see in the number of deaths from last weekend.”

“It is embarrassing and horrible and we need to do something. Maritime law obligates us to help people in need at sea. Secondly, we should provide information in the region the refugees come from. The promising image people have of living in Europe should be altered. They often end up in situation of exploitation, in the greenhouses in Spain and Italy. And our country does not welcome them in with open arms either.”

Rijken continues: “Thirdly, I advocate good shelter in Europe. Safe countries have to admit refugees from the UNHCR-camps. Imagine that those camps are almost like enormous cities with up to 400.000 refugees. These camps are meant as a temporary solution, they are crowded and unsafe. The Netherlands only admit 500 refugees each year, a handful. Our country could take in more refugees that are selected by the UNHCR. With that, you help the most distressing cases.”

Next to these three points of attention, Rijken notices that the human trafficking is often paired with violence and force. “The boat that sunk last weekend held 900 people, of which some where locked up in the hold of the ship. These are dehumanizing scenes.”


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