Since 2011, the raging war in Syria has led 10.6 million people to flee their homes. Today, one in five displaced people in the world is Syrian. Following the rise of ISIS, the number of refugees has only climbed.
Most Syrians who left their homes registered as refugees with the United Nations when they left Syria. A majority of refugees are moving to countries closeby, particularly Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Many are also going to Europe to seek asylum– a status in which they can work and live legally in another country.
Three in five Syrians seeking asylum in Europe are in Sweden, Serbia, or Germany. Large numbers are also seeking lives in Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark and the Netherlands. The United States is also settling Syrian refugees; 1500 have been settled since 2011, 1199 of whom were settled in the US this fiscal year, which ends September 30th. President Obama has ordered his administration to increase this number to at least 10000 refugees in the next fiscal year.
However, not all countries are being very welcoming to the Syrian refugees. Recently, Hungary has gained attention for its attitude towards the migrants. Human Rights Watch’s emergency director remarked that the refugees were being held as if they were “cattle in pens”. Migrants have been kept in “abysmal” conditions, lacking food and medical care. Images released by Human Rights Watch may fuel allegations that Hungary is not meeting the minimum standards for the treatment of migrants. Hungary has become a sort of bottleneck in the route for refugees, as many refugees go through Hungary to reach Germany. The lack of transportation is limiting the number that can travel at a time.
The Central European states have rejected the plan for a quota system limiting the number of migrants (people who have not yet completed the legal process of claiming asylum).
As the refugee crisis continues, a generation of children faces a life where many cannot go to school due to the conditions in Syria. Thousands of people have lost their lives, and most recently, a small child and his family who drowned washed up on a beach in Turkey. They were trying to reach Canada, but their boat capsized, killing them. The refugee crisis continues as a reminder of the devastation occurring in war-torn Syria and the troubles refugees and migrants face as they are forced to transition into new lives in other countries.