Covid 19 and Refugee and World

 

COVID 19, which spread all over the world like a strong storm, Corona, as publicly known, influenced everyone from 7 to 70. Tens of things have been written and published about it for months. What we eat, how we dress, how we are going in this process, how we go through it. List by list item by item is trying to reach us from every channel in every way. Each country took a different way. While ordering to hit the people in streets in the Philippines, India beats its citizens on the street, while African countries are praying to not let Corona reach them, European countries are closing the borders even for the first time in their history. Countries are turning their backs to each other, Italy and Spain are screaming for help. Incidents are increasing day by day in Iran. The city of Wuhan, where everything appeared, lifts the quarantine.

COVID 19 virus, which started in Wuhan, China, has exceeded 41 thousand people worldwide and continues to increase rapidly day by day, according to the figures published at the end of March. Italy with the highest loss of 12,428 people, Spain with 8 thousand 269 deaths and the USA with 3 thousand 431 deaths are the top of the list. We are going through the hardest and strangest period of world history that we have witnessed. We list the number of deaths in each country. There are the same problem and one call all over the world. #stayathome

So, despite all this, when the whole world is trying to stay home when the whole world is publishing a single call, have we ever thought of those who couldn’t stay at home? What about those who can not go home, not even away? What happens to them in this process? We follow a lot of news. We know more about the most. Who is at home, who is going home after work. Who is forced to work, who has been at home since the first call? While everyone is broadcasting live, it is not difficult to know. But some are unable to reach, who do not know their fate, who are stuck at the border, who cannot return to their country. Refugees.

If we look at the figures given as of March 31, we encounter 203 infected countries. 79 of these countries are refugee-hosting countries. Many countries have declared a national crisis within their body since the first day of the crisis and shared their health and safety packages with the public. Remarkably, although refugees are concentrated in most of these countries, more than most of them have not been included in their packages.
While the whole world cannot even protect its citizens, 70 million displaced people, 25 million refugees, 3.5 million refugees are dragged from there. While they are struggling to survive even in their daily lives, at the moment, as the size of the crisis grows, they will remain in an even more difficult situation. Let’s take a look at their situation in the world.

Intense anti-refugeeism around the world manifested itself even after COVID 19 spread. While no precautions were taken for refugees trying to live in dense and crowded places, most of them were left in their camps, under quarantine in their areas, without food and health support. We can see the most obvious example of this in Greece. In Greece camps where diseases are widespread and malnutrition is high, the conditions were further aggravated due to patients who received COVID 19 as positive and all camps were quarantined. We do not have enough information at the moment. We do not know if they will leave to die or will the aid reach there. Even in normal times, while the health conditions and treatments are insufficient, I do not think that they will send support to the camps during this process, we will see the facts with the figures announced in the following days.

We have seen European countries’ view of refugees in recent years. While in Germany and France, where refugees live heavily, health packages are announced one after another, the absence of any precautionary packages for refugees is immediately apparent. At the same time, we have seen in the case of Italy that refugees / immigrant groups were accused and tried to be subject to political material in this pandemic, as there were the first refugee/immigrant groups to blame when any problem occurred within a country. Matteo Salvini, the extreme right-wing politician of Italy, did not dock the ship carrying African irregular migrants in Sicily after the outbreak and kept it on the open sea for days. Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban stressed that the spread of the virus in their country is completely from refugees without any reason. But they have not been able to show a particular source of these explanations until today. Nevertheless, the ultra-right anti-immigrant in Saxony Saxony Medical Association in Germany called the migrant doctors, who had not previously been employed because they did not have the necessary licenses, to work.

The United States continues its racist discourses through a pandemic and cannot provide adequate health care even to those living in its own country. The health system, which does not have a framework and power, has been inadequate and collapsed with this pandemic. In an area where taxpayers are not treated as humans, and equal health system cannot be demanded. It has been revealed by the media day by day that even simple tests cannot be met and the number of beds and intensive care units is insufficient. It is a matter of curiosity to pay a certain amount of money to its citizens to eliminate the economic problems and how much the hospital expenses of an infected person will cover.

While cleaning, hygiene and health problems are experienced at the highest level in normal time in Syria, what will happen after the epidemic is unpredictable. Health supplies and hygiene kits are inadequate. Most children have trouble with their immune systems due to malnutrition. There is information that the epidemic spread rapidly, but the number of cases is unknown. According to the official figure, there are 2 deaths. Authorities in Syria think that the pandemic will spread rapidly under these conditions.

Likewise, an unknown place is East Turkestan. Even when the world says normal, we cannot get any information from the country under quarantine. Although the Chinese government publishes 32 official figures, considering the circumstances, the fact that the virus that spreads so quickly has limited the access to many materials in mass detention, concentration camps, and the published numbers do not represent the reality.

Also, there are still events that foster prospects. Recently refugees waiting to cross the border in Edirne-Kastaniéa/Turkey to Europe, after the start of the outbreak in Turkey, were placed to student housing located in various places in Turkey by the support of the state to pay all the costs. At the same time, according to their legal status in Turkey, we see that they benefit from the free health care system. Health access is not different from those who are living in Turkey. The aim here is, in fact, a humanitarian attitude, as well as the protection of the right to equal health for both local people in the nation and other nations living in the nation, which should be so in every international area.

Another country that attracts attention in this process is Portugal. In the declaration published with the national emergency since 18 March; The applications of everyone applying for refugees and/or asylum are accepted as “the right to health cannot be prevented”, ensuring that citizens of Portugal and all immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers have the same right. This situation has created a different field of research and discussion on the legal status of refugees in the world.

What we are trying to explain here is not to give them extra precautions, etc. What we are trying to see is that there should be an equal health system within the nations, which is even more essential during the pandemic that now affects the whole world. Also, refugees from long distances who do not have access to health are more susceptible to diseases due to both malnutrition and lack of vaccination and lack of access to the necessary cleaning kits. Refugees who are roaming around the country due to economic insufficiencies will be affected more quickly by the pandemic, and because they have to work, they will infect most people in economic life.

There should be equal access to international health for all humanity, both for refugees, war zones and all countries with economic disabilities. However, it does not seem possible to do this among countries that turn their backs even to their own citizens. As you can not send a person without a country back to his unpresented country you cannot say to someone who does not have a home to stay at home. But it is up to us to establish a home.

 

References

avrupa.info.tr
unicef.org
unhcr.org
euronews.com
nrc.no
foreignpolicy.com
thediplomat.com
photo by DW breaking world news

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Sumeyye Acikgoz
Sumeyye Acikgoz graduated Masters degree in NGO and Social Responsibility Management from Istanbul University with her master project about Turkey, Health NGOs in Volunteering and Volunteer Management in 2017 and also, she graduated with a masters degree in Sociology from Istanbul Commerce University with her master thesis on Spatial Cluster Dynamics of Irregular Migrants In Metropolitan Cities: Example of Afghan Refugees In Beykoz-Yenimahalle in 2018. She worked on a lot of projects as a writer, coordinator, and team member. She worked all refugee camps and migration foundations as a volunteer in Turkey. She lived in the US and got research techniques about migration studies in 2018. Also, she worked in the Heartland Alliance as a volunteer interpreter with migrant people. She has written about irregular migrants at different web sites and magazines. She has a consultant company which is the name Seena Project Consultancy. She founded this website in 2019. Currently, she is studying for a Ph.D. program on political science at Medeniyet University.