Syrian Refugee Crisis: Analyzing the Catalytic role of the international Community 

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The fundamental reason for the creation of the United Nations was to spearhead protection of human rights. This development came in the aftermath of the Second World War, an international war that claimed millions of lives and polarized the global community. Some of the critical mandates of the United Nations was to champion for equality and to institute measures to curb poverty (Allison, 2013). Decades later, many parts of the world are still embroiled in social and political unrests with poverty being a worrying cause of death. In Syria, inequality is at its toll with the local populations highly polarized along ethnic, racial and religious lines. Besides, global politics have worsened the situation with the refugee situation in the country deteriorating by the day. The renewed superiority contest between the Syrian government and rebel forces amidst feared support from terror groups has since seen seizure of villages and towns. This has resulted in mass deaths in the region. Worryingly, efforts by humanitarian groups to supply food and other essential items to people in seized towns such as Aleppo have been futile and impossible (The Lancet, 2015).
As the war continues to consume and disintegrate the Middle East nation, the international community has taken a surprisingly inactive role in the resolution of the conflict. Blame games have characterized the Syrian refugee crisis with attempts of the refugees to seek asylum in Europe proving difficult. The closure of the Greece and Macedonia border reflects the insensitivity of the European nations to the Syrian situation. The living conditions in border camps where the refugees settle awaiting smuggling to Europe have deteriorated with heavy downpours in some camps predisposing the refugees to diseases and causing deaths of many. This, therefore, raises questions about the commitment of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to its mandate of ensuring sound treatment of refugees in member countries.
1.1 Research Questions
The paper seeks to answer the following questions: the impact of the political dynamics in Syria in the promotion, facilitation, and sustenance of the Syrian refugee crisis. Secondly, the underlying interest of Russia in the protection of Syrian refugee rights. The third question is the sensitivity of the European nations to the Syrian refugee crisis. The final question is the extent to which the US has effectively delivered on its mandates of overseeing political, economic and social stability across the globe.
1.2 Objectives
The paper has four objectives. The first objective is to review trends in racism against Syrian nationals. The second objective is to identify the place of identity and Biopower politics in the crisis. The third objective is to analyze the cost of the Syrian war. The last objective is to review the responses of the global community to the migratory trends of the Syrian refugees.
This paper seeks to establish the catalytic role of the international community by exploring strategic failures and worrying international trends that have characterized the Syrian crisis.
1.4 Organization of the paper
The paper is fundamentally divided into four sections. The first part of the paper explores trends in racism against Syrians and the manner in which the trend deviates from international laws. The second section analyzes the role of identity and Biopower politics in catalysis of the crisis. The third section reviews the economic, social and political costs of the Syrian war. The last part reviews the differential responses of global communities to the migration of refugees.
Racism against Syrian Refugees
For decades, the world has tried to overcome the challenges of racism. A review of traditional American environment indicates that the country was polarized by racism and ethnicity, a feature that resulted in the civil rights movements. First forward, America has bridged gaps in racism and ethnicity in efforts to establish communities founded on inclusivity and mutual respect as envisioned in the American dreams. In the European Union, fights against racism in sports and other arenas attest to the commitment of global communities to overcome the challenges of the past and establish a future of prosperity and mutual respect. Worryingly, the Syrian refugee situation antagonizes this trend in the global fight against racism. The refugees are discriminated upon based on their races and ethnicities (Dahi, 2014). This has been observed in countries such as Israel and Lebanon. In the latter case, some Syrian refugees were tied in the middle of a road to reflect the message that Syrians were not allowed in Lebanon. This great atrocity towards Syrians is partly a result of the growing presence of militia groups in the country making other nations fear that allowing Syrian refugees in their countries would give room for terrorists to sneak in and accomplish mass murder. In some regions, xenophobic attacks are directed towards Syrian nationals (Eghdamian, 2015). Sadly, the local authorities continue to show reluctance to deliver on their core mandates of protecting refugees in line with the Geneva guidelines.
In Europe, the Syrian refugee crisis raises more fears that compliance of the nations with the requirements of the international community would be an enormous security gamble. The Paris bombings elevated these fears amidst concerns that the perpetrators of the crime were Syrian nationals. It is thus argued that allowing Syrians in the EU zone will give room for entry of the terrorists in the region (Dahi, 2014). Similar fears are existent in other parts of the globe. In the United States, the topic of Syrian situation has dominated presidential debates with the Republican frontrunner expressing vision to block immigration of Arab nationals into the country. In the spirit of unity and integration, however, such blatant discrimination should not be acceptable in the modern society, a society focused on success. Opponents of such racist dynamics have since paralleled attempts to bar Syrian refugees from seeking refuge in the US with the infamous US attack on Iraq after the 9/11 attack. The opponents indicate that particular focus should be directed at the terrorists rather than considering every Syrian National as a terrorist. They observe that most Syrians are peace loving people and should not be victimized.
Identity and Biopower Politics
Syria has been a member of the Arab League for decades, a regional block that has been integral in unifying the Arab world. Also, the country has established closer links with its strategic trade partners including Russia, China, and Lebanon. Amidst the current refugee crisis, the political and economic superiority contests have come into play (Allison, 2013). As such, Syria is a nation fixed between two antagonistic superpowers. The United States and the EU have been trying to break into the oil-rich region for long. The success of the NATO forces in the ouster of the Libyan and Egyptian dictatorial presidents marked a new dawn in the plans to break into the Arab market. However, Syria is proving to be a difficult nut to crack. The presence of the IS in the region makes it a volatile region to effect superiority fights. On the other hand, the Russian government views US support of opposition groups as a direct attempt to overstep its mandate (Allison, 2013). Consequently, Russia tries to protect its diplomatic and trade relations with Syria through military support. The former Soviet nation has been actively involved in aerial bombings of perceived opposition strongholds to help Asad regime.
In the midst of this contest, Syrian refuges are torn between identifying with the government, the opposition groups or the international community. In some rebel-held strongholds, it is impossible to supply food and medical needs to sustain healthy living. Sadly, the Syrian government has been involved in the standstill through banning of humanitarian supplies. However, continued negotiations have yielded fruits with some of the regions receiving the critical supplies. Conventionally, the identification of the Syrian masses with the opposition groups limits their chances of being accepted as refugees in foreign countries (American Center for Law and Justice, 2015). This is a result of the belief that the rebel groups are closely working with criminal militia groups such as the ISIL. In Lebanon, the prohibition of Syrian refugees is linked to the close ties between the Asad regime and the Lebanese government. On the other hand, identification of the Syrians with the state predisposes them to attacks from the rebel groups. It also undermines their commitment to change the dictatorial and suppressive leadership of the Asad to a new framework founded on democracy.
Religious identities also play vital roles in the Syrian crisis. The specific involvement of Iran and Lebanon is a desire of the nations to protect their religious interests (The Lancet, 2015). For instance, Iran views the support of Syria as the important way of protecting the Shiites from the Sunnis. In addition, minority religious groups in Syria are subject to discrimination and mistreatment. Christians and members of other minority religions are reportedly beheaded and killed in blood bath (Eghdamian, 2015). Nevertheless, advances in global peace negotiations raise hopes that the Syrian crisis will be overcome.
The Cost of War
Since the genesis of the Syrian war, over 2 million citizens have fled the country to register as refugees in neighboring countries such as Jordan and Lebanon. Some Syrians have sought refuge in oversees countries in Europe and the US. However, humanitarian reviews indicate that the cost of war is far greater. Many children have since been separated from their parents who were either killed or captured during the war (Lobatos, 2015). Famine and hunger have been predominant in seized towns limiting the chances of survival of the people. Children, females and the elderly are worst affected by this crisis. Some Syrians are challenged by the principle dilemma of separating from the family to rescue one's life or remaining united amidst the uncertainty of dying together.
The cost of the Syrian war has not been limited to the Arab nation. Instead, the crisis has affected the neighboring countries which are forced to mobilize resources to help the refugee situations. Billions of dollars have since been channeled to refugee camps to assist the affected populations. Despite finding homage in the neighboring countries, Syrians remain without legal rights, a feature that predisposes them to torture, sexual violence and child abuse (The Lancet, 2015). Cases of Syrian females being sexually abused in their host countries and some being used as sex slave are indeed concerning, challenging the logic of the humanitarian responsibility of the global community.
Some quarters argue that Syrians should stay at home and fight for change from within. However, a closer analysis of the war shows that the Syrians are subjected to extreme violence in their home country hence staying put is not an option. The war is believed to have claimed more than 320000 lives with children constituting a percentage of this population (Lobatos, 2015). Also, millions of Syrians have been permanently disabled through injuries sustained during the war. There are fears that these figures will rise exponentially following the involvement of international rivals, NATO, and Russia, in the war. Other concerning results of the war include paralysis of infrastructural frameworks thus impeding transport and movement of people. Communication has also been limited, with mobile and telephony sectors receiving a considerable blow.
Neither is the situation of children in Syria promising. Many have lost their loved ones in cold blood and are likely to be traumatized for ages. The children are being brought up in a culture of brutality and violence, a feature that is likely to affect their cognitive and socioemotional developments. In some cases, the warring factions recruit child soldiers contrary to international provisions (Save the Children, 2015). Strategic partners in the fight for child welfare, such as UNICEF, Red Crescent, and the Red Cross, are thus running a race against time to try and heal these emotional, physical and psychological scars left by the Syrian war in the hearts of the minors.
Differential Response to Migration
The migration of the refugees from the home country into refuge nations has faced differential responses. According to the UNHCR, it is necessary for nations to accomplish their duty to protect the refugees from further atrocities. It is the responsibility of all member countries to offer support camps and register the refugees. On the contrary, the response to the migration of Syrian refugees digresses from normalcy (Dahi, 2014). Most countries are reluctant to accept Syrian refugees on grounds that they pose security threats. The predominance of the ISIL in the region country and the continued heinous killings of Western citizens and journalists has further escalated the unwillingness of the global community to accept Syrian refugees (American Center for Law and Justice, 2015). The links between the Paris attacks and US attacks to Syria-based IS and the discovery that Syria is used as training grounds for new terrorists has worsened the situation. Most nations in the EU have since locked their boarders to prevent immigration of Syrian refugees. Many of these refugees have to be smuggled into their destination countries due to the unwillingness of the receiver states to offer them refuge (Save the Children, 2015). Sadly, many have lost their lives in the hands of the smugglers when their overloaded boats capsize in deep seas.
In summary, the solution to the Syrian crisis presents a new challenge to the global community. It is a fight that has reflected the disintegration and disunity on a global scale. The war is governed by special interests with Biopower politics between the United States and Russia proving instrumental in defining the eventual destiny of the crisis (Amnesty International, 2014). Global negotiations to overcome the war have been paralyzed by the inability of the antagonistic factions to reach consensus. Russia views Syria as a strategic partner central to its efforts to reconsolidate the Soviet Union. On the other hand, the United States considers the country as an essential part of its plans in the Middle East. Sadly, the citizens have been caught in the middle of this battle that is fueled by the global community. The reluctance of the international communities to accept Syrian refugees affirms the special interests involved in this war. The review thus indicates that lasting solutions to the refugee crisis can only be overcome through international cooperation. Besides, it is instrumental for Russia and US to sideline their interests and work together for the good of the Syrian people (Amnesty International, 2014). Indeed, the surge in terror activities across the globe results from the systematic disintegration of the society and the inability of global powers to harmonize their interests. On the other hand, the analysis shows that the European Union is better placed to solve the Syrian crisis. However, the reluctance of the EU to assist in the crisis is directly linked to fears of future terror attacks. To this end, it is conclusible that the Syrian refugee crisis is unlikely to come to an end soon due to the complexity of the special interests on which the crisis is founded.

Allison, R. (2013). Russia and Syria: explaining alignment with a regime in crisis. International Affairs, 89(4), 795-823.
American Center for Law and Justice. (2015). The Syrian Civil War and its Effects | American Center for Law and Justice. American Center for Law and Justice. Retrieved 12 March 2016, from
Amnesty International,. (2014). The world’s pitiful response to Syria’s refugee crisis. Amnesty International. Retrieved 12 March 2016, from
Dahi, O. (2014). Syria in Fragments: The Politics of the Refugee Crisis. Dissent, 61(1), 45-48.
Eghdamian, K. (2015). Refugee crisis: Syria's religious minorities must not be overlooked. The Conversation. Retrieved 12 March 2016, from
Lobatos, S. (2015). The Future of Syria: Refugee Children in Crisis. Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2013. Comparative Education Review, 59(2), 381-383.
Save the Children. (2015). The cost of war: calculating the impact of the collapse of Syria’s education system on Syria’s future. Save The Children. Retrieved from:
The Lancet. (2015). Syrian refugees seeking help. The Lancet, 385(9964), 202.

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