Global Education

War torn country, war town lives

By Denebola
Published: November 2007
[DEN_11212007_B011.jpg]By David Gabriel

The refugee crisis in Iraq has reached tremendous levels.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees stated this summer
that over 5 million Iraqis have fled the country or have been
displaced since 2003.
Refugees International, a non-governmental organization committed to
recognizing refugee problems worldwide, called the Iraqi refugee
crisis the fastest growing refugee crisis in the world.
Many Kurds have fled Iraq to neighboring nations such as the Islamic
Republics of Iran, Syria, and Turkey, since 1970.
Before the United States invasion of Iraq, over 400 thousand refugees
had fled to 90 nations. Half of the refugees fled to Iran, a nation
that engaged in a war against Iraq during much of the 1980s.
The US has accepted less than 2,000 Iraqi refugees, since the
invasion of Iraq. The US plans to accept fewer than 10,000 refugees
over the course of two years. The number, however, is expected to
change due to restrictions made by Homeland Security, this past year.
During both the Gulf War and the current Iraq War, millions of Iraqis
fled their homes due to persecution, instability, or their cultural
identity. Countries in the region have imposed arduous visa and
passport requirements on Iraqis,effectively closing their borders on
Some argue these restrictions are essentially denying the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, which gives all people the right to seek
asylum in other countries.
Saudi Arabia is constructing a 560-mile fence intended to halt the
flow of refugees across the Saudi Border.
Neighboring nations like Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon have been the few
nations willing to accept Iraqi refugees. According to some human
rights groups Syria and Jordan are believed to have received more than
2 million refugees.
Outside of the Middle East, Sweden is the largest number of Iraqi
refugees. Sweden is believed to house over a 100,000 Iraqis seeking
asylum, and many others who have a temporary refugee status.
Unlike other nations who usually prosecute refugees until the
government is able to deal with them, Sweden provides aid and a chance
to lead a new life in their nation of refuge, in the hope that the
refugees will help Sweden’s labor market and in the process prevent
Last year Sweden’s former left wing government agreed to give
thousands of formerly rejected “asylum seeking Iraqis” a home in
Sweden, a deal that may hurt the Swedish economy in the short term.
Many believe, however, that this new influx of refugees may
eventually benefit both Sweden’s vibrant society and economy.

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