Syrian Civil War and European Migrant Crisis

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by 56a65bc45e62b56a65bc4613ae
Last updated 4 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
European history
Grade:
12

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Syrian Civil War and European Migrant Crisis

SYRIAN CIVIL WAR AND EUROPEAN MIGRANT CRISIS

Syria’s civil war is the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. Half the country’s pre-war population — more than 11 million people — have been killed or forced to flee their homes.Families are struggling to survive inside Syria, or make a new home in neighboring countries. Others are risking their lives on the way to Europe, hoping to find acceptance and opportunity. And the onset of harsh winter weather makes life as a refugee even more difficult. At times, the effects of the conflict can seem overwhelming.

When did the crisis start?Anti-government demonstrations began in March of 2011, part of the Arab Spring. But the peaceful protests quickly escalated after the government's violent crackdown, and rebels began fighting back against the regime.By July, army defectors had loosely organized the Free Syrian Army and many civilian Syrians took up arms to join the opposition. Divisions between secular and Islamist fighters, and between ethnic groups, continue to complicate the politics of the conflict.

Where are they fleeing to?The majority of Syrian refugees are living in Jordan and Lebanon, where Mercy Corps has been addressing their needs since 2012. In the region’s two smallest countries, weak infrastructure and limited resources are nearing a breaking point under the strain.In August 2013, more Syrians escaped into northern Iraq at a newly opened border crossing. Now they are trapped by that country's own insurgent conflict, and Iraq is struggling to meet the needs of Syrian refugees on top of more than one million internally displaced Iraqis — efforts that we are working to support.

Where are they fleeing to?The majority of Syrian refugees are living in Jordan and Lebanon, where Mercy Corps has been addressing their needs since 2012. In the region’s two smallest countries, weak infrastructure and limited resources are nearing a breaking point under the strain.In August 2013, more Syrians escaped into northern Iraq at a newly opened border crossing. Now they are trapped by that country's own insurgent conflict, and Iraq is struggling to meet the needs of Syrian refugees on top of more than one million internally displaced Iraqis — efforts that we are working to support.

How do migrants get to Europe?The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that more than 920,000migrants arrived by sea between January and November 2015, compared with 280,000 detections by land and sea for the whole of 2014. The figures do not include those who got in undetected.The EU's external border force, Frontex, monitors the different routes migrants use and numbers arriving at Europe's borders and put the figure crossing into Europe this year at more than 1,500,000.


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