A good article published in Al-Jazeera.

Watching inhumanity unfold at refugee camps such as Moria on the Greek island of Lesvos, it is hard not to ask why the situation has become so dire for people fleeing war and desperate lives, and for the countries receiving and hosting them. 

The war in Syria has been going on since 2011; how can it be possible that what should be the most simple of tasks still has not been achieved - the provision of decent services and protection for human beings regardless of who they are or where they have come from.

Mostly, this is a logistical and organisational task which can be achieved with the right professional and financial resources; neither of which should be an issue for a continent like Europe.

As time goes on, the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria and other war-torn areas of the world is getting worse for refugees from those places. As has been happening on Lesvos, we see images daily of burning refugee centres, desperate people being beaten with sticks and tear-gassed, and angry protesters fearful of more immigration.

It all seems so far removed from the European ideal of open and free societies; a Europe which seemed to be the incubator and catalyst for a modern interconnected and sustainable humanity; a Europe we hoped would finally overcome its dark history of colonialism, imperialism and fascism. 

From a humanitarian and professional perspective, you would expect the sort of mess unfolding on Lesvos to happen at the beginning of a crisis such as the war in Syria, not years into a known situation. And it is happening right on the richest continent on this globe.

This is the shameful result of there being no vision or leadership when it comes to managing the refugee crisis; of politicians having succumbed to the most primitive narrative and adopting panicky, short-sighted policies. 

Closing borders with repressive measuresdeporting young refugees and migrants even when they have learned the language and are working or are in the middle of apprenticeships are actions used to score political points with voters by ambitious populist European politicians and leaders in Austria, Poland, Bulgaria, Italy or the centrist parties moving to the right in Scandinavia or Greece. 

Their hard line attracts votes from people who feel insecure and have not been shown the benefits of implementing modern migration and integration measures. 

Affordable housing or small business support and saving schemes which made Europe so successful in its reconstruction following WWII have been abandoned and neglected throughout Europe.

Europe's visionless response to the refugee crisis has created the chaos necessary for right-wing nationalism to thrive. Recent newspaper headlines, such as "Illegal immigrants flood in!" and "Migrants rob young Britons of jobs" seen in the UK in 2019, have fuelled this sort of sentiment. 

There is a solution

The full article and to see the thoughts of the reporter Kilian Kleinschmidt can be found here