Why They Seek Refuge at Ours

During the past year (2015) more than one million people tried to flee to Europe. Almost 4’000 people lost their lives doing so. Here they triggered a crisis and the feeling of excessive demand. They are too many. They cannot all be guaranteed asylum. Where do we even have to start? Those are questions that daily bother our politicians and government but also ourselves. All of them are people seeking for security at ours for different reasons.
But why do they even seek refuge at ours?
The reasons for Samim’s escape from Afghanistan we already got to know. This blogpost is now going to try to explain the reasons for an escape in general.

People generally flee because of “persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particulat social group or political opinion” (United Nations Convention relating to the status of Refugees). There also are environmental, war and economic refugees.

Because most of the refugees originate in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq we are only going to explain the reasons for their escape in detail in this blogpost.

In 1980 the Sowjets entered Afghanistan. More than half the population left the country and flew to mostly Pakistan and Iraq. About 20 years later almost five million refugees returned to Afghanistan. But sadly the Taliban, who had first been celebrated as redeemers by the Afghans, are to blame for more than three thirds that the number of injured and killed civilians has strongly risen again. Another problem is that foreign aid is limited since attacks on helpers have increased.

Since 2011, Syria is at war. The population is being taken into captivity and systematically cut off of food and provision of medical care by the Assad government as well as anti-government groups, especially the “Islamic State”. Because of the economic crisis in the country, rising food prices and limited income possibilities unprotected families can no longer sufficiently secure their existence (compare Luft, 2016). The UNHCR named “hopelessness and despair” as fundamental triggers for the flight of so many Syrians in 2015.
So in general, the people in Syria do not have any prospects anymore.

For 35 years there has not been a longer period of peace in Iraq. The population had to survive three Iraq wars, suffered hunger caused by economic sanctions by the United Nations and had to fight with insufficient provision of medical care. They lost 160’000 people during the civil war. More than eight million people in Iraq needs humanitarian aid. About one fifth of the Iraqi does not have access to basic provision of medical care, clean water and sanitation facilities. Also in this country armed groups, especially the “Islamic State” is to be blamed for the suffering of the people. Since the beginning of 2014 about 8.5% of Iraq’s population has been driven out of their country.


According to the UNHCR, about 60 million people are affected by the international refugee crisis in 2015. The people at our borders mostly seek for safety and stability in a state. They hope for a better future for their children, they try to survive. In our opinion, it is very important for us here to try to understand why those refugees are seeking refuge and “cause problems” in our countries. Like this we can better collaborate, understand and accept each other. This is also the aim of our blog: To create awareness and understanding.


Much love,



Sources: Die Flüchtlingskrise. Ursachen, Konflikte, Folgen; Stefan Luft, 2016



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