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The migration crisis and how to solve it

Patrick Kingsley has some excellent, common-sense solutions to resolving the refugee crisis, albeit some measures he admits will be incredibly hard to implement (ending the war in Syria; ending repression and extremism in Eritrea and Afghanistan).

Yet many of his suggestions are within the West's capacity to implement: allowing asylum seekers to work in the neighbouring countries to Syria so that they can provide for their families; providing a direct asylum route from the camps for millions of Syrians so that they don't resort to dangerous journeys and so that EU countries can manage the flows of migration in a steady manner; increasing development aid to those countries like Turkey that have taken in millions of refugees; providing economic incentives to "smuggling communities" to ensure they have options aside from a life of crime; establish a common asylum procedure across Europe with similar standards of treatment to avoid country hopping.

There are legitimate reasons to criticise the EU's response in all of this, but no other institution is uniquely able to resolve these problems. Perhaps this is the biggest challenge of all - maintaining political will and the continued interest from a public that has only just awoken now that images of drowned little boys are forcing us to sit up and take note. If we once again resort to disinterest, then the EU will simply reflect our collective malaise. 

Kingsley also points out that we ought to learn from precedent: 

"After the Vietnam war, the west eventually welcomed 1.3 million refugees from Indochina. If such a large scale resettlement scheme has succeeded once, without collapsing social order, it can be achieved again. There are worries about refugees posing a threat to European society. But as the humanitarian response to Vietnam shows, a refugee influx in the low millions can be absorbed by a rich continent of more than 500 million, particularly if the process is managed well enough."

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