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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  January 6, 2015 3:30am-4:01am EST

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already laid down a challenge to go cleaner and greener. andrew simmons, al jazeera. >> find everything you need at >> people are on the move. the largest number of refugees since the end of world war ii. this is "inside story." hello, i'm ray suarez. around the world people who have concluded that staying where they are is just too dangerous hit the road, leaving their homes, crossing international borders into other
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countries. from honduras they've headed north to the west. fleeing gang violence and poverty. in the north africa republic tiny lebanon is staggering under the huge weight of syrians fleeing war and chaos at home. the country is now saying, we just can't take everybody. >> they come from all over somalia , indonesia, caribbean. many so desperate to escape their own countries they pay thousands of dollars for a spot on a rickety boat. >> we called on the plane immediately when we detected the ship. a woman took the call. she said we're alone. please help us. we're in danger .
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>> a record number of people are fleeing wars. more than 200,000 people crossed the mediterranean in 2014 just like the refugees in this boat. >> for sure this is very dangerous because one ship that navigates with nobody at the helm is like a bomb launched against the coast line. >> the italian coast guard sees a new trend. traffickers charge ex-other exorbitant fees for over loaded boats that they then abe. n. ban done abandon. >> every government is entitled to their own management policies, and no one disputes that. lebanon is absolutely
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overwhelmed by the 1.1 million refugees who have flocked into the country over the past four years. i mean, it's an enormous burden. we understand that. we understand the reasons they cite for doing what they're doing. there is no mention of refugees in these regulations. >> the number of people who were forced to leave their homes have exceeded 50 million. it's the largest number since world war ii. people leave due to war, internally displaced and a asylum seekers. more than 3 million have left syria since bashar al-assad began there, and with no clear end to the war in site syria's neighbors are looking for different ways to cope with the influx of refugees crossing their border. >> lebanon sets new standards
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for processing and hosting syrian refugees this time on "inside story." and later in the program a wider look at the worldwide plight of refugees. joining us to begin the conversation, lina director of the carnegie middle east center, and lee, director for lebanon with the norwegian organization. what has changed? if you show up with your compact automobile stuffed to the gills with your family and everything that you couldn't sell, when you're greeted at the lebanese border what is new? >> i think, ray, what we're seeing today is a codification of a decision that was taken last year. so since october of last year lebanon has decided not to take more refugees, and so they indicated that people are
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arriving at the border after coming to lebanon with a specific purpose, whether that be to gain medical treatment or to travel on wards to noir country, to have an appointment with an embassy, as a student. some purpose like that. this is linked to the point in your opening story that there are just so many refugees in lebanon that the country feels that it can no longer accept more refugees. >> if you turn up at the border and say simply my home has been destroyed. my town has been destroyed. that's no longer sufficient for gaining entrance to lebanon? >> no, neither are specific requirements that you must be able to prove that you're coming for a purpose. or have a lebanese sponsor here that will confirm that you're coming for employment. so currently the ministry of social affairs is working on what they call humanitarian
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criteria that would allow very vulnerable people fleeing the conflict in syria to gain access. but it would not give full protection to all people trying to flee the conflict in sir syria. >> lena, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have never registered as refugees. are they in some kind of limbo now? >> yes, of course. the people who have not ledge registered, especially those who left the country during the holiday period, and now are still abroad, are in no man's land. these people are subject to the regulations that have been imposed by the lebanese government. it means those abroad cannot now come back to lebanon because they have no official papers to prove anything. while those in lebanon will find it difficult to leave the country and come back because,
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again, they don't have necessarily arrangements that would comply with the new regulations, either. >> you know, lena, since the formation of lennon, lebanon, it has been a country painfully aware of the proportions and different types of people living inside the country. with so many syrians arriving, do you upset that very delicate, religious calculous that goes on in lebanon constantly. >> yes, a key concern for people in lebanon is that 90% of the syrian refugees in the country are sunnies. and this means that currently in lebanon sunni es constitute the highest proportion of any sectarian
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group in the country. this could change the political status quo in the country and this is one of the reasons for the new legislation in the government. many are worried about the political change in lebanon as a result. >> the battle-scared politician walid jumblat implied that many of the people who would come in to lebanon from syria were not really bona fide refugees. they were in effect opening up another front of the syrian civil war. he's a member of the religious minority inside of lebanon, but does he have a point? >> there are those who are in these types of activities in lebanon.
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but that does not mean that the majority of syrian refugees are one of these refugees. in fact, it's the opposite. one thing that we have to remember that the lebanese government from the beginning of this conflict, did not have a viable policy to deal with the refugees which left most of them destitute. many have turned to join jihadist groups out of despair not necessarily out of conviction or ideology. when you need to find a way to make a living, and you cannot find employment you become vulnerable to recruitment by extremist groups. now the lebanese government has imposed regulations to deal with an issue that actually they created in the first place. >> does lebanon have a point when it says we can't take any more. they did its bit during the iraq war when many iraqis poured out of that country.
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it's been home to palestinians for decades. does lebanon have a point when it says let them go somewhere else now? >> well, lebanon has the highest per capital refugee population in the world. it's one in four is a syrian refugee. definitely, the situation here is very challenging for the country for host communities for the government. but the other side of the equation is the right of people from syria to seek asylum outside of the country. so we have to encourage all the actors, the countries surrounding syria, but also the international community to step up, and ensure that the appropriate protection is offered to people who are feeling conflict and. persecution inside of syria, and that means the countries surrounding sir are a, including
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lebanon, but that more countries should take more refugees and set temporary programs to allow the refugees to move further afield. >> we'll be back with more "inside story" after our short break. you may be sitting at home thinking this makes sense, small country, big flow, limited resources. if one of the main destiny destination refugee destination hitting a breaking point, are they get to a point where they say we just can't do any more? >> al jazeera america morning news >> good morning and welcome! to al jazeera america >> real stories... real reporting... real news... a deeper look... >> a much better forecast for today >> with an international edge >> why is this so important and how close is this deal? >> from our award winning news teams across america and beyond >> we begin with breaking news
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there's more to finical news than the ups and downs of the dow. for instance, can fracking change what you pay for water each month? have you thought about how climate change can effect your grocery bill? could rare minerals in china effect your cell phone bill? or, how a hospital in texas could drive up your health care premium. i'll make the connections from the news to your money real. >> you you're watching inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. as syria descended into deadly civil war and remained there 3 million people fled the country.
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3million. lebanon took in a million refugees and now says it can take no more. they said, we have enough. there is no capacity to host more displaced. that's our focus on this edition of the program. lena, if they can't go to lebanon where will they go? >> highly likely they would go to jordan or to turkey. these are the only other two countries surrounding syria that the refugees can head to, and which actually have been coping better than lebanon with the refugee situation, mainly because there are less refugees going into that those countries compared to those heading to lebanon. >> but jordan shares with lebanon that it's small, smaller than syria, poorer than syria was before the civil war. it could appoint come where they may say no more?
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>> yes, absolutely. to grind on and more and more people see syria, of course jordan is going to bear the brunt of this. right now jordan is coping better than lebanon. but if anyone has visited the refugee camp in jordan, anyone can see that the situation there is far from ideal. it's not like jordan is offering refugee s luxurious surroundings. it's just able to cope. the international community bears responsibility because the syrian crisis is actually an international crisis, not limited to one country or one region. >> you know the resettlement very well. what is the danger to have
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people live outs of their normal milieu? once they start liveing in cardboard walls and corrugated metal, is it bad for the refugees themselves? >> in displacement people have to create lives for themselves where they are displaced, but also the life that they left in their home country disappears. so in many circumstances where people seek to return home after long-term displacement, their property is now occupied and owned by someone else, and that raises new conflicts and new challenges inside the returning country. >> so there is an interest not only among syrians themselves, but in the world community to get people back home as quickly as possible?
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>> there should be, but to do that there needs to be serious engagement on an agenda for peace inside syria. that's what will change the situation for the refugees and neighboring countries and host countries and neighboring countries, host countries. >> if a million syrians stay in lebanon for the long haul, hundreds of thousands in jordan, close to a million in turkey what are we looking at the next year, the year after? >> we actually have to think not about next year and the year after, we have to think about the next decade. it would take that long to repatriate the refugees whether in lebanon or elsewhere. what is needed, therefore, is an immediate solution to the syrian conflict that has the blessing of all the international actors involved as stake holders, and that includes the u.s. european
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countries, russia, iran, saudi arabia, turkey, and others. this would be the only way to have a viable solution for the refugee problem, otherwise, we're just going to see more of the same . >> has the international community stepped up in a way proportional to the need? >> i think if you take a look at the case of lebanon, the requested assistance for 2014 was only 50% funded. so clearly there is a big gap between the needs and the assistance provided on the side of the humanitarian response. the political arena has certainly not seen any major advances in recent times, and i think that that also is one of
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the concerns, then, that they face here as lena said, we're looking at a decade of displacement, and the challenges that brings to the surrounding countries. >> people trying to flee syria are turned away, if they can't get into the places they are trying to go, what does that mean for syria? >> this men's further tension and fights in syria. people who fled were already vulnerable. they become even more vulnerable when they find themselves destitute. just as i was saying earlier about what happens to people when they're desperate and need to find a way to live, they become prey for recruitment by jihadist and other extremist groups and mafia etc. this really presents us with a scenario of a failed state in syria further on down the line. that's why the conflict needs to
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end soon. >> lena, , thanks for joining us on "inside story." when we return we'll widen our focus to refugees worldwide. war, ethnic and religious conflict, economic problems have all pushed people away from their homes. afghanistan, somalia, iraq sudan, and many others have created the largest number refugees since the end of the second world war. >> pain killer addiction on the rise >> i loved the feeling of not being in pain >> deadly consequences >> the person i married was gone >> are we prescribing an epidemic? >> the last thing drug companies wanted anybody to think was that, this was a prescribing problem >> fault lines al jazeera america's hard hitting... >> today they will be arrested... >> ground breaking... they're firing canisters of gas at us... award winning investigative documentary series... opioid wars
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>> welcome back to inside story on al jazeera america. i'm ray suarez. the worldwide refugee crisis this time on the program, we've been focusing on the exodus from syria after four years of civil war. now we'll take a broader view. an estimate from the united nations puts the number of
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people forced to leave their country or leave their homes inside their country at more than 50 million. that's the largest group of displaced people since the destruction of europe and asia after world war ii. joining us now to talk more about the reasons, the impacts and possible solutions, leonard doyle, spokesperson for the international organization for migration. thanks for joining us on "inside story." up until now we've been talking specifically will syria. why has the world not been able to shut down the drivers of displacement from syria? >> well, the drivers are isis and fundamentalists and if a natism, and it's very hard to shut it down. the world has tried. but simply trying to block people from fleeing is really not the answer. refugees, as we know, has a protection under international law. migrants have a right to travel,
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have a right to migrate. we're seeing people thrust into the hands of mugglers, criminal gangs who probably make $2,000 per person. this is a shocking thing to see in this day and age. >> in the particular case of syria don't the receiving countries have a point? they're being asked to do a particular duty that uruguay and the philippines aren't being asked to do? >> well, the receiving countries, it may surprise people, are the neighboring countries, jordan and lebanon. lebanon with 4.5 million people are receiving 2 million of syrian migrants. the burden is enormous. there are problems with the visa restrictions, but their generosity has been extraordinary to the refugees. by contrast you have 80 in the u.k. and 20,000 in jordan.
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there is a discrepancy there. . >> countries are being asked to take on enormous new burdens. >> primarily the issue is in north africa and in the middle east, whether it's in iraq build its whether it's syria, as we just discussed, an oppressive regime is making their way through the sinai desert.. the rice of boko haram, the problems in the collapsing economies that we've seen throughout west africa. libya is a failed state. therein, a lot of people who were traveling through libya trying to get out are finding themselves in dreadful situations being thrown in dungeons and mistreated.
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north africa and . there are refugees piling into thailand. this is not a new phenomenon. in central america there are people fleeing gangs, fleeing trouble and going north, as we know very well. >> in each case the circumstances are specific, very regional very provokeal, but there is not an example that we can pull off the she have. >> migration is the oldest coping strategy for problems. and i think we in the public space have a responsibility to talk about it responsebly and to remind people that migrants bring huge benefits to societies. they bring diversity, huge new levels of culture.
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they mix things up as we've seen in the united states. a country of migrants, after all. the great diversity and culture of this country. >> but there is a big difference between having people arrive in some sort of orderly fashion you know who they are. you know where they're coming from, and 300,000 people just walking across your border. >> true, but quite often we overdue overdo. we put too much emphasis on the migration part of it. let's say we had 200,000 people coming across through italy in the last 12 numbers. it's not that big of a number. what is needed is burden sharing and spreading these people out who are genuine refugees who are fleeing horrible situations. rather than being cold hearted for whatever reason a zenophobic element has entered into the discussion, and we see the need
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to accept migrants the response is let's have far fewer of them. let's elect for a-right politicians and let's put up the barriers which has left 300,000 people drowning in the mediterranean . thousands have died from ebola and there has an correct response. >> europe also has had a couple of tough years overburdened finance ministries, under performing economies, and if you suggest to the guy or gal on the street let's take in 100,000 people, it's not necessarily something that is going to make them say, oh, yes, we can afford that. >> that's a fair point, and i think countries have in all seriousness they have to work very hard at this. there are cultural gaps, and europe is the old world. people have been doing it their way for a long time. so any new faces, new types of people is going to cause a bit of push back.
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but people are not also understand that they're an aging society, they understand that when they get old they need healthcare, and wonderful healthcare comes from people from developing countries. that's something that we've been working on, integrating these people in parts of our society where benefits are huge and needed. you end loneliness when you have good healthcare. you help people in their declining years. as society age we do need someone to cut the lawn, blow the leaves, provide the healthcare, and we're wealthy enough to cope with that otherwise we have tragic lives. >> leonard doyle, thank you for joining us on "inside story." >> you're very welcome. >> that brings us to the end of this edition of "inside story." thank you for being with us. the program may be over, but the conversation continues. we want to hear about what you think about this or any day's show. log on to our facebook page. send us your thoughts on twitter.
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our handle is aj inside story am or fall me @ray suarez news. in washington, d.c. i'm ray suarez. >> the united states is in the midst of the worst drug addiction epidemic in its history. but it's not a crisis of illegal drugs. it's one of prescription painkillers - oxycodone, hydrocodone, and other legal narcotics, all related to opium. collectively they are called opioids. >> these are the opioid painkillers. and prescriptions for drugs like these have more than quadrupled over the last 15 years - to the extent that the us now consumes more than 80 percent of the global supply of these drugs.


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