HomeModule Evian ConferenceStage 1: Statements on RefugeesStatements

Statements regarding Refugees

1. To what extent am I responsible to help foreigners?

There is no essential difference between me, those who are close to me, and other people. We are all human beings who live in the same world, and therefore must support each other.

[the counter argument:] My natural empathy with people who are closed to me, is much stronger than with people I don’t know, and so is my obligation and responsibility to them.

If I do not help foreigners, I cannot expect others or demand from them to help me in times of trouble.

[the counter argument:] There is no guarantee that foreigners would help me in times of trouble.

History shows that each person (and country) takes care of its own interests itself first.

2. The balance between national self-concerns and international obligation for refugees

We have an obligation to accept refugees. They are human beings just like us. Our humanity is more important than our particular national interests. We are first and foremost human beings and not only citizens of our country.

We do not have to accept refugees, because we are not responsible for the troubles in their country. Admitting refugees into our country is a matter of voluntary good will, not of moral obligation.

We should not interfere in domestic matters of other countries e.g. by encouraging emigration.

Instead of asking us to accept refugees, efforts should be made to solve the problems in the country where they come from

Refugees should go to their neighboring countries, or to countries of similar ethnic or religious identity.

Countries in the region where the refugees came from, or countries of the same ethnic and religious identity of the refugees, should accept these refugees more than us.

All countries should accept refugees equally, or at least share the burden of accepting refugees.

My country should not accept refugees if other countries refuse to do so.

(Alternatively: my country should accept refugees even if other countries refuse to do that.)

3. What are legitimate and non-legitimate concerns for rejecting refugees?

It is legitimate to limit the number of refugees if they may cause social problems or tension between groups in our country.

My country should accept refugees even if admitting them would have negative effect on the employment and the economic condition in my country.

Refugees who do not hold minimum educational or professional skills should not be allowed to come, because they may be a burden on our society and economy.

Refugees above (and/or below) a certain age should not be admitted, since they pose an economic burden on our society.

The issue of the refugees is an international one. Therefore, refugees should be admitted to our country only if we will be given international financial support that would help us to accept them.

Refugees should be admitted to our country only if they have sponsors who already live here.

It is legitimate to refuse the admission of refuges that do not intend to return to their country eventually.

Refugees should be admitted to my country only if they will later move to a different country.

Refugees should not arrive illegally. Refugees that arrived illegally, should either be imprisoned or send back to their country.

Refugees should be allowed to our country only if they are willing to live according to the values of our society.

Accepting refugees can legitimize expulsion of more refugees from their countries, because it sends a message that it is legitimate to expel a person if he or she has another place to go to.

4. To what extent is diplomacy effective or necessary to solve such problems?

Since the issue of the refugees is an international one and requires according cooperation, diplomacy is the only/most effective tool to deal with it.

In diplomacy each country tries to promote its selfish interests rather than promote universal values and deal with global concerns. Diplomacy, therefore, is not an effective tool to deal with the problem of refugees.

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