Why Refugee’s Can’t Fly – Hans Rosling

Hans Rosling describes how Directives within the EU are affecting on the ground experiences of refugees in Northern Africa and the Middle East. There are more people than ever drowning across the Mediterranean sea.  Airplane tickets are available for as little as 320 Euros while the cost to board a dangerous boat with a much higher incident of death by drowning costs 1000 Euros.

Why are refugees opting for a much more expensive and dangerous option?

Because of a European directive from 2001 that tells member countries how to combat illegal immigration. It states that any airline, boat line or travel company that transports undocumented people into the European union is responsible for paying to have that person returned to their home country.  But there is a second directive that says that the first directive does not apply to refugees that want to enter the European Union under the Geneva Convention. In context what has happened is that the responsibility of who decides who is and who is not a refugee has been transferred to the airline staff within the refugee state. Obviously there is a major problem here in that it airline staff are no way prepared to respond to matters of this kind and so what is happening is that no refugees are able to board commercial flights to escape.

What might be a possible solution to this problem?.

Jaclyn Hawtin

Jaclyn Hawtin is an expert in the field of technology and international development. She has successfully led multiple growth focused technology programs in both the public and private sectors. Her previous assignments abroad have posted her throughout Europe and South America.