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Published on Feb 3, 2016
The current migration crisis has illustrated that the 1951 Geneva Convention and the subsequent 67 Protocols are ill-suited to the modern world of mass communication and global travel. Mechanisms that were devised in the wake of the Second World War were based on the premise that those facing genuine state persecution would be allowed refuge in a neighbouring safe country. They were not designed for people crossing the globe across countless safe states in order to reach countries offering the most generous welfare systems and asylum policies. Neither was the Convention designed with the idea that individuals could transfer their refugee status from one state to another, as we are seeing now in the case of many who have left safe refugee camps in Turkey in order to reach Europe and then claim asylum again.
2016 will see a new UN Secretary—General elected, probably from an eastern European state. Speaking personally, I believe that the EU should take this opportunity to press for reform of the 1951 Geneva Convention to address these very valid concerns or else the Convention will no longer be respected or applied.