There are over 68.5 million people around the world who have been forced to flee their homes – with 25.4 million of them being officially classified as refugees. Most have been displaced for years. Millions of refugees globally continue to live through a litany of suffering, humiliation, injustice, racism, discrimination, slavery and obstacles that get…

In his book Don’t think of an Elephant cognitive scientist George Lakoff explains how the language used in political debates often predetermines the outcomes of those debates. The reason for this is that different ways of describing something induce in us different ways of understanding an issue. This is very powerful, because even though we…

Until a few weeks ago, nobody was talking about the ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’; a relatively unknown, non-binding UN document on international cooperation in the field of migration. In the last few weeks however, one state after another raised concerns or withdrew from the compact. Now it has become the centre…

Wars and conflicts have forced more people to flee their countries than any time since World War II. In Europe, more than a million migrants arrived in 2015, sparking a ‘migration crisis’ as countries struggled to cope with the numbers. The Common European Asylum System (CEAS), which has gradually been set up and expanded since…

A young Sudanese man languishes on a fence next to the railway line that sunny July evening in Calais. In Sudan, perhaps he had been an engineer, an electrician or a teacher. Instead, in this sprawling mass of mud-caked tents and mobile homes, he is one of the estimated ten thousand[1] rendered reliant on volunteer…

On the night of the early July election, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull waited till midnight to address the media. Despite enjoying sky-high approval ratings after toppling former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in a party-room coup, a series of concessions to the right-wing of his Liberal Party (itself a conservative party despite the name), a lack…

Sweden has in just over six months moved from taking in the highest number of refugees per capita to practically closing its borders. This turn was not unexpected to many international commenters, claiming that this was the inevitable result of the country’s generous asylum policies. However, as it turns out, Sweden closed its borders by…

Much has been thought, said and written recently about Germany’s asylum practice. Weekly or even daily, it seems, there are new facts and figures, proposals and demonstrations on whether to open or close borders, on humanitarian commitment and welcoming culture. When speaking with Germans or international observers, one is quite likely to hear their position…

Last week I started writing this blog in the beautiful North Shan State in Myanmar, where I gave a one-week training on internal party organisation and campaigning to a group of twenty senior politicians. This is part of the curriculum of the Myanmar School of Politics (- a 1-month long programme set-up by the Netherlands…

Voir ci-dessous pour la version française de cet article. – See below for the French version of this article. We, the children of the European Union, founded in a desire for peace. We, the youth of the Erasmus generation, unhindered to travel to our neighbours, to meet them and to get know them better. We,…