ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Refugees

No Foreign Intervention In Libya.

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I think anyone watching the events unfolding in Libya must wonder, whether or not foreign intervention would help.

Clearly, Governments toned down their rhetoric whilst their nationals were in Libya and potentially under danger, but what now?

Sanctions are utterly useless, as they don’t address the here and now.

But shouldn’t more be done to aid the Libyans?

I think so but any foreign intervention would, in my view, be disastrous, for a number of reasons:

1) Such action would only bolster Gadaffi, it would allow him to argue that it was really imperialists that wanted to take over his country, in the first place, and that his people loved him but they were puppets of Western imperialism.

2) It would come too late and take precedence over the Libyans’ views, which should be paramount.

3) The Libyans, above all, should oversee their own emancipation and probably have sufficient resources now to complete it.

Ultimately, I think any western intervention in Libya would be counterproductive, I think aid and support for the refugees should be expedited, but that’s a different issue.

This is what some Libyans think:
No intervention in Libya

Ex-Pats And The Real Refugees of Libya.

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Whilst ordinary Libyans are murdered in the streets most Western expats have been repatriated from Libya and a few are held up within their compounds, but what we shouldn’t forget is the real refugees from this revolt, workers from the developed world.

Libya was a temporary home for workers from around the world and whereas Western governments have made some effort, even dispatching naval ships, that hasn’t always been possible for countries from the developed world.

Their workers, their citizens, are left to defend themselves, many have made it to Tunisia and are living off of the charity of the Tunisians or Libyans.

But that isn’t good enough.

The United Nations, with its wealth of experience of such crises should have seen this coming and made arrangements for those workers stuck in Libya unable to get out or fend for themselves, ABC News has more:

“The UN refugee agency says a “humanitarian emergency” is underway as the situation at Libya’s western border worsens and foreign workers continue to flee fighting within the country.

Thousands fled Libya over the weekend in a mass exodus of foreigners from the strife-torn country by air, land and sea.

The agency says almost 100,000 migrant workers, mostly from Egypt and Tunisia, have fled Libya in the past week and many remain stranded at the Libya-Tunisia border as Libyan customs officers desert their posts.

“We call upon the international community to respond quickly and generously to enable these governments to cope with this humanitarian emergency,” said Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

As night fell and the line of cars, trucks and buses ferrying refugees further into Tunisia thinned out, one Tunisian official said there was still 7,000 more foreign workers at the Libyan frontier waiting to get across.

When they do, they will join the chaotic scenes as mostly Egyptian men sleep in clumps on roads or on open land in frigid conditions. “

Western countries are always very concerned, or like to be seen as if they are, about their own citizens, but rarely seem to think of what will happen to “other” ex-pats, from developing countries, so in the end colonial thinking is still very much alive and well in the 21st century, but not in the way that most people would imagine.

Written by modernityblog

01/03/2011 at 00:43

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Racism In The UK.

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The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has just released a report on racism in the United Kingdom.

There have been four such reports since 1999 and they can be found here, in English and French.

Briefly scanning the report I noticed a few issues, particularly concerning blacks in Britain, the Roma, refugees and how many Muslims feel stigmatised in the current political climate:

“While progress has been made towards eliminating discrimination, many inequalities remain. Black children are still around twice as likely as others to be permanently excluded from school, and outcomes in the field of de facto ethnic and religious segregation in schools also do not seem to have improved significantly. Not enough has been done to eliminate prejudices and discrimination occurring in the workplace, for example against Muslims; Black and minority ethnic groups are also under­represented across the public sector. In parallel, discrimination law has become more complex, meaning victims need legal assistance in this field. Some ethnic minorities continue to face specific health problems, and their health in general is vulnerable to conditions of social and economic disadvantage. Ethnic minorities continue to be over­represented in the prison population, and their proportion continues to rise.

Gypsies and Travellers are still among the most disadvantaged minority ethnic groups in the United Kingdom and the most likely to face discrimination in all fields of daily life, and they face some of the most severe levels of hostility and prejudice. Much more still needs to be done to redress the situation. Adequate site provision, which is frequently at the crux of escalating community tensions, remains an especially pressing issue.

Refugees and asylum seekers also remain vulnerable in the United Kingdom to destitution, wrong decisions and wrongful detention, and the tone of public discourse remains frequently hostile towards them. At the same time, measures put forward by the authorities as part of proposals to consolidate immigration legislation foreshadow generally more restrictive policies in this field, and hostility towards migrant workers appears to be increasing.

Anti­terror provisions also continue to cause concern. Stops and searches under anti­terror legislation disproportionately affect members of Black and minority ethnic communities. Research has shown that Muslims feel stigmatised and alienated by these measures, and young Muslims who have been regularly stopped and searched feel increasingly marginalised. Black men are also around four times more likely than White men to be included in the national DNA database. Overall, Black and minority ethnic people are more likely to be imprisoned than White people, and more likely than White people to die in prison. “

I think the ECRI’s report paints an accurate picture as far as I can make out. I will come back to it later, time permitting.

Update 1: The ECRI discusses the Crown Prosecution Service’s annual report on hate crime.

Unfortunately it’s not very easy to find nor is the latest report terribly lucid, it doesn’t tell you anything significantly worthwhile. I was hoping for a breakdown on racial offences in Britain, etc but the best I could find was that some “75% of hate crime defendants were identified as belonging to the White British category, and 79% were categorised as White.”. That’s about it.