What are the causes and implications of the Syrian refugee crisis?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

There are two main causes of the Syrian refugee crisis.  First, there is the factor that causes refugees to leave Syria.  Refugees are fleeing Syria in large numbers because of the terrible civil war going on there.  Many of the different players in the civil war are abusing civilians.  The war itself is devastating the country.  These factors make Syrians want to flee their country. 

However, the fact that refugees are leaving Syria would not create a crisis if all of the countries of the world would accept the refugees.  Instead, the second cause of the crisis is the fact that the rich countries of the world, where Syrians naturally want to go, are not willing to take very many, if any, refugees.  These countries include the rich Arab countries of the Persian Gulf, various countries in the EU, and the United States.

There are a number of implications of this crisis.  Let us look at a few.

  1. Refugees’ lives are being endangered.  Because many countries are not allowing large numbers of refugees in legally, they are taking dangerous steps to try to enter illegally.
  2. Splits are developing among EU countries.  Different EU countries want to enact different policies towards the refugees.  This makes for discord between the various countries.
  3. Anti-immigrant groups are being strengthened in many EU countries.  Nativist groups have been gaining strength in Europe for a few years now.  However, the refugee crisis is making them stronger as people fear an influx of refugees.
  4. The good will of rich countries has been called into question.  Many of these countries have helped fan the flames of war in Syria but are unwilling to help deal with the aftermath of that war.

These are a few possible implications of the crisis, though there are others that could be identified.

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brandyhwilliams's profile pic

brandyhwilliams | College Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted on

There is a lot of talk about the implications for the Syrian refugee crisis, but not much attention is being paid to the root causes. Essentially, as the previous two posters have noted, a main cause for the crisis is the civil war happening in Syria. According to Aboutnews.com, the Syrian civil wars grew out of desperation from the people who wanted more democratic processes, and less stiff restrictions from Bashar al- Assad and his regime. Civilians in Syria began the Arab Spring protests, and the al- Assad military answered with brutal force in March 2011. This caused the people of the region to take up arms and form their own militant regime to answer to the government's harsh tactics. From there, the country was pushed into civil war, killing 10,000 people, and leaving several more to flee for European safe havens. There are some serious implications from these actions.

Chif among the implications is the economic turmoil of the region. Many international countries have levied sanctions against Syrian militants, including the United States with the Executive Order 13582, which prohibits any American from doing business with Syria. European sanctions have been lifted to help funnel money into the region to fight Bashar al- Assad's regime, but with very little peace in the area, business has all but stopped. Clearly, this leaves many citizens without basic needs. 

Another key implication birthed from the civil war is the amount of terrorist strong holds that have taken shape in the area. Al Qaeda and Hezbollah are a few of the key actors who have taken refuge in the embattled area. With so much riding on the peaceful end to the conflict, there is little opportunity to allow continued conflict to wage, as terrorists of this magnitude are a huge issue for many in the international community, including the USA. 

More so, the refugee crisis is worsened because Syria has no real answer for conflict within the country. Not only does the lack of a plan have implications for Syria, there are implications for other, bordering, European countries whose resources are being taxed by the number of people escaping into their borders. The continued taxation on their resources has led to stock market crashes, countries on the verge of economic bankruptcy, and an increased reliance on foreign aid that pushes other countries not in the region to give and do more. For Americans specifically, Iraq stands as a potential prize in the Syrian crisis. After all that America has extolled in that part of the world, we stand to be present in the region, further pushing on our national debt, and making it necessary to up our military spending. While this has not been decided, it is a very real possibility should conflicts continue in the area. 

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mkoren's profile pic

mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted on

The Syrian refugee crisis is a serious one.  The main cause of the crisis is the deadly civil war going on in Syria.  This has created many economic problems.  From these economic problems, poverty has increased.  There also isn't much political freedom in Syria.  To escape the civil war, as well as the lack of political freedom and economic opportunity, people are leaving Syria in hope of finding a better life elsewhere.  The implications of this crisis are significant.  There are countries that don't want to bring in any of the refugees.  They are building fences and promising to convict any refugee who tries to enter that country.   Other countries are willing to bring in some of the refugees, but these countries are concerned about how many refugees they can bring in and support.  Since the flow of refugees is quite large, the question is where will these people go when countries won't take in any more of the refugees.  The potential for a major humanitarian crisis is very high given the current situation with the refugees. 

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