Event Theme: Humane Capacity

Question: Nation states have argued for limitations on capacity, what is our capacity, as individuals, to care for others?

Excerpts from suggested readings:

Germany’s Refugee Crisis Is Getting Worse

Refugees. Image: The Atlantic

Refugees rest at a temporary shelter in a sports hall in Hanau. Image: The Atlantic

German police and politicians are frustrated. Exhausted migrants who traveled hundreds of miles to escape civil war only to be held in weeks-long waiting lines are even more so. And adding to Germany’s existing logistical problems now is another: The impending arrival of a freezing, harsh winter.

“I wish I’d stayed in Syria and not come here,” a 26-year-old Syrian migrant told Reuters through an interpreter. “I dreamed Germany would be better, but it’s so bad. We’ve been sleeping in the cold. Now my baby is sick.”

Thousands of other migrants are facing similar problems. Registration offices are slow to identify and register migrants, especially those without documents—and they’re also approaching the process with heightened suspicion, since plenty of false claims have cropped up since the country opened its doors to Syrian refugees. In Berlin, some people have been sleeping outside for nearly a month, waiting to register. Others have given up trying to apply and taken up shelter on their own, creating yet another headache for German authorities.

Read the full article.

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Refugee crisis: Where are all these people coming from and why?

Refugee crisis. Image: independent.co.uk

Syrians fleeing the clashes in the city of Tal Abyad and crossing into Turkey earlier this year Getty. Image: Getty

Refugees have been seeking safe haven in the West for years. Recently, however, something has changed. Thousands have become millions, as nation after nation succumbs to anarchy and fanaticism. Introducing a unique week-long series examining the causes of the current crisis, Patrick Cockburn focuses on the increasingly uninhabitable region of fear and hatred which is driving this alarming exodus.

 What is to be done to stop these horrors? Perhaps the first question is how we can prevent them from getting worse, keeping in mind that five out of the nine wars have begun since 2011. There is a danger that by attributing mass flight to too many diverse causes, including climate change, political leaders responsible for these disasters get off the hook and are free of public pressure to act effectively to bring them to an end.

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