Although Europe has become a focal point of massive influx of refugees, yet the current refugee crisis is, by no means, mere a European refugee crisis. In terms of its magnitude, gravity and sensitivity, this refugee crisis necessarily a global crisis requiring the attention and assistance of the global community. Presently the European countries are most affected by this crisis, but the entire world is bound to suffer the consequences if this crisis is not adequately and immediately resolved. The UNHCR has also warned the world community by declaring the current refugee crisis as just a ‘tip of the iceberg.’

The current refuge crisis is being described as the worst since the World War II. The UN has estimated that more than half a million migrants have arrived in Europe so far this year. There were 216,000 arrivals in last year alone. Now, according to UNHCR, around 8,000 migrants and refugees are entering Europe every day. It has also warned that Europe must prepare for millions more migrants until there is an end to the civil war in Syria. The so-called European refugee crisis began to surface in the beginning of this year. However, this issue instantly captured the limelight following the tragic death of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy who was drowned and washed up on the Turkish beach. The shocking images of his dead body jolted the conscience of the world community.

Besides the massive influx of the refugees, certain European Union laws have been a major reason for this instant crisis. Although the Schengen Agreement has successfully transformed the EU countries into a border-less zone, yet the Dublin Regulation significantly restricts the free movement of asylum seekers and refugees within this zone. Under this regulation, an EU responsible Member state, a state through which an asylum seeker first entered the EU, is supposed to examine the application of an asylum seeker seeking the international protection in accordance with 1951 Refugee Convention and EU Qualification Directives. If such asylum seeker crosses the border to another country in EU, he can be returned to the former.

The UN Convention Relating to Status of Refugees, 1951 essentially recognizes the principle of non-refoulement. It prohibits states from refouling, or returning, a refugee to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened. This law also prohibits the mass expulsion of refugees. Owing to these legal complications, the refuges, entering Europe through the Mediterranean Sea, started concentrating in Italy, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungry giving rise to sort of humanitarian crisis in these countries. However, aimed at evolving the principle of fair sharing of responsibility vis-à-vis the refugees by all member countries, now the European Parliament has also passed a resolution calling to amend the Dublin Regulations on asylum. This move will certainly help ease the current refugee crisis in some way.

As a matter of fact, owing to the geographical location and better economic opportunities offered by the region, the Mediterranean migrants are pouring into the Europe. Presently, many European countries are actively trying to accommodate more than half a million refugees that have arrived in the continent. After the unfortunate drowning incident of Ayalan Kurdi last month, these efforts have been intensified. Germany is generously accepting these refugees. Around 800,000 refugees are expected to arrive in Germany this year.

Hosting almost 95 percent of total more than 4 million Syrian refugees, Syria’s immediate neighboring countries, namely Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and Jorden, have somehow played a positive role in resolving the current crisis. Turkey alone has accommodated more than half of total Syrian refugees in the world. However, on the other hand, the attitude of the GCC countries towards their ‘Arab brethren’ has been deplorable. Including Saudi Arabia, these oil rich countries have made no significant effort for the rehabilitation of these helpless people so far. Same is the case with Iran. Ironically, the two resourceful arch-rivals in the Middle East seem to be more interested in establishing their superiority in the region through their proxies than rehabilitating the refugees of this war-torn area.

Similarly, there has been no positive response from the powerful and rich countries of the world including the US, Russia, china, UK, Canada, Japan, South Korea etc. The Islamic and other Asian countries have also been lagging behind. In the name of ‘war on terror’, the US has played havoc with these Middle Eastern countries giving rise to the current humanitarian crisis. Still, the US is more interested in toppling the Assad regime in the Syria than anything else. Indeed, its so-called Greater Middle East initiatives do not necessarily include the rehabilitation of the people of this region.

Including the European countries, every country has a limited capacity to instantly absorb, rehabilitate and settle the foreign refugees on its soil. The global economy is experiencing the recessionary pressures. Many countries are facing the problems like low economic growth and unemployment. Therefore, instead of encouraging the influx of refugees into foreign countries, these people should first be rescued and rehabilitated in their own or nearby areas. Indeed, this would be a convenient and more cost effective method. In this respect, the recent proposal made by the Turkish prime minister in the UN General Assembly regarding the establishment of ‘safe zone’ in Syria to protect civilian is rather a practical and useful suggestion.

The current Syrian migrant crisis cannot be effectively resolved without making sustainable peace in the country. Therefore, the world community should make serious and concerted efforts to bring the durable peace in Syria. Instead of opting for a head-on collision with current Syrian regime to make Bashar al-Assad step down, there should be a greater reliance on the diplomatic methods to ease this crisis involving the pro-Assad forces in the region, namely the Iran. The recent nuclear deal between the Iran and so-called P5+1 countries is a diplomatic success story. This diplomatic model can also help resolve the current Syrian crisis. Similarly, the international power players and regional military forces should be united to forcefully contain the militancy and extremism of the ISIS. Now they should also make a military alliance against the ISIS, as they readily did to punish the Houthis in Yemen some months ago.

In his opening address to the General Assembly, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Europe to ‘do more’ to confront the current migrant crisis. In fact, The Europe has somehow played, and still playing, its part to resolve this crisis. Now the rest of the world community should also come forward. Since this is a global crisis, therefore the world community should treat it as such. The UNHCR, a premier UN refugee agency, should also proactively supervise and coordinate all the relief and rehabilitation activities instead of only issuing warnings and preparing statistics in the current refugee crisis.