The Stigma of a Refugee


When the word ‘refugee’ is mentioned, the first thought that pops into most people’s heads is poor people migrating from their country to another country. And this, this stigma that refugees are poor people is the problem.

But where did that ‘poor’ come from? An exact definition from the dictionary is “a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.” Not a single word of that definition mentions the status of the refugee.

Refugees are not all poor. Most of them had a job and maybe an education before their country plunged into crisis. The countries itself had an economy, just like ours does today.

According to Amnesty International, there are currently more than 21 million refugees worldwide, 10% of them should be resettled every year and low and middle-income countries host 86% of all refugees.

For example, lets take the European refugee crisis. There are people fleeing from all over the Middle East and Africa in search of asylum in Europe. Although many more countries have begun to accept them, there are still millions of people with disgusted looks on their faces. Governments are declining them because they believe that refugees are a threat to our environment and society. Putting up borders does not help the refugees running from the on-going war. Pushing people away from entering their country only endangers their lives even more.

Sometimes, I have heard people complain about the refugees ruining their holiday. Other times, I have heard people complain about refugees ruining the city for them. At worst, I have heard people tell their children to not acknowledge the presence of a refugee because they’re dangerous. 

Where has our humanity gone? As a member of the human race, I feel ashamed that some people have no respect for other humans. These people have come to seek for refuge because their country is no longer a habitable place. They do not have much of a choice. Maybe it is because we cannot relate to them. But if we put ourselves into their shoes, would you not do the same things? If you were on the brink of death, would you not flee your country to seek a better life?

Instead of complaining, help out and be of use to them and your country. Instead of complaining, keep your thoughts to yourself. Instead of complaining, treat refugees the same way you treat everyone else.
Refugees were never the problem – we were.