19 Feb 2015

Solving the refugee problem

Australia's solution done right, with a big win for everybody

Refugees and asylum seekers have caused quite a debate in Europe in recent years. Asylum seeking has replaced the refugee system in practice – asylum seekers skip the refugee camps and travel across the Mediterranean by boats, some of which sink on the way.

Settlement on the European soil causes all kinds of problems, stemming from cultural differences, for example. It’s not a particular good solution for refugees/asylum seekers themselves, neither it is for Europe.

The living conditions on refugee camps have been neglected for the most part

Refugee problem is a big problem that needs to be solved. Here’s how one would do it.

The answer lies in the method that Australia has used; in the so called PNG solution. Australia is not offering a home for refugees on the Australian soil, instead they are sending them to refugee camps on Papua New Guinea. This has stopped the flow of refugees for the most part; for example only one boat successfully arrived in Australia in year 2014.

So, what Europe/anyone willing to help would do, is:

  • Set up refugee camps in nations near the conflict areas. Those camps should be built to last for a good number of years (e.g. 10-20), so they should not be tents, but instead more like normal buildings.
  • Protection should be arranged. In other words, these would be safe places (“asylums”).
  • Everything should be done in co-operation with the host nations. Freedom of movement may need to be restricted; in other words, the camps may have to have some border control. This would ensure that the camps serve their dedicated purpose and would not become destinations for people that don’t actually need the camp environment.
  • Asylum seekers coming to Europe would be sent to these camps.

Can you show an example?

Glad you asked. Here’s a “modern” refugee camp Nahr el-Bared that shows that this is possible, admittedly this is only for about 30 000 refugees. However, these are what are needed, more of them, maybe bigger ones.

Education should be provided to people on those camps. What this would do is that people on the less developed nations would get educated on equality matters and such, and when, in the future, people return to their home countries, they would bring this knowledge with them, and thus help develop their home countries. Currently this knowledge doesn’t transfer to their home countries easily, because there is quite a bit of friction for refugees to return their home countries.

Similar suggestions

Recently the VVD party in Netherlands has made a similar suggestion:

Also, something similar has been suggested in Denmark. Seems like nothing came out of it, though.

Tybring-Gjedde suggested a big asylum center in Turkey.


  • 31.3.2015 Nahr el-Bared example.
  • 31.3.2015 VVD suggestion.
  • 20.4.2015 Tybring-Gjedde