What Owen Jones forgets about refugees

Quite remarkably forgets in fact:

Even among progressive-minded people, there are reservations about those who have fled horrifying circumstances in Syria, Eritrea, Darfur, Afghanistan and other countries terrorised by war or dictatorship. Why don’t they simply seek refuge in countries neighbouring their own? What compels them to travel thousands of miles, across multiple borders, in order to make a new life on British soil? François Hollande’s France is hardly a war-torn dystopia, so why not stay there?

As a refugee seeking asylum you have a right that it will be granted.

However, that right is only exercisable in the first safe country you come to.

What you don’t have is a right to go jurisdiction shopping for where you’d like to claim asylum.

Someone who gets off a plane at Heathrow, having come directly from a war torn area, or where they have a likelihood of persecution (so, yes, being gay from certain countries, religious, racila, persecution, even being an enemy of the current government) has that absolute right to claim asylum in the UK. Someone turning up at Dover having crossed Italy and France does not: not unless they are claiming security from the French government.

Now, maybe it shouldn’t be this way but this is the way that the international law works on it. That international law largely built by the do-gooding lefties of course.

Strange that Jones didn’t mention that really.

23 thoughts on “What Owen Jones forgets about refugees”

  1. Richard North doesn’t agree with you:

    Contrary to the ill-informed assertions of many pundits, there is no “first safe country” requirement in the Convention or Protocol. The text is here and anyone can do an internal search to confirm it for themselves. They will not find the word “safe” anywhere. The assertion that, under international law, asylum seekers are obliged to seek protection in the first “safe country” they reach is a myth. There is no such requirement under international law.

  2. bloke (not) in spain

    I’d imagine if it isn’t there it’s going to be a bit hard to find the page that it’s specifically not on.

  3. The entire UN refugee process is unfit for purpose. It should be ripped up and started again from scratch.

  4. @TDK

    I suppose the relevant part is:

    Article 31
    refugees unlawfully in the country of refugee
    1. The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense of article 1, enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence

    So, only the first, safe country appears to have any obligation to refugees, and only if they claim asylum without delay and show good cause.

  5. Yes, Owen why indeed do these migrants not stay in Greece, Italy, Spain or France ?Could it be that those countries’ taxpayers are less tolerant of showering darkies with social security?

  6. Owen’s use of statistics… absolute numbers, percentages, comparisons with GDP/capita, comparisons with population… whatever fits the particular point he’s trying to make in that sentence. No comparisons with land area or population density mind.

  7. The Meissen Bison

    The people who argue in favour of accepting refugees from oppression in Eritrea are often the same people who argued vehemently for Eritrean secession from Ethiopian oppression in the first place.

    Owen Jones, to be fair, may be an exception unless he was a kindergarten communist.

  8. @CJ Nerd

    The relevant bit in Article 31 (quoted above by Soarer) is the word “directly”.

    Indeed it is. I just pointed this out on the Indy article by Dr North.
    You know, I am often hesitant about posting comments in case I have misunderstood something, or don’t have my facts straight.

    Even though many people who write (and get paid for) actual articles in the mainstream media seem to just blithely write complete lies in order to support their own agenda.

    I guess that’s what you get (and I missed) from an Oxbridge education.

  9. Soarer: I guess that’s what you get (and I missed) from an Oxbridge education

    No. Be reassured: whatever you may have missed, it wasn’t that.

  10. ‘The first point is that the vast majority of refugees don’t come anywhere near western Europe.’

    So what..? We ‘re concerned with those that do.

  11. It would be nice to remember that the Uk is not a lump of real estate to be stuffed with people , however deserving, because there is still space.
    After all who will , in the end, decide enough is enough. And will anyone listen.
    The benefit and choice of the inhabitants seems to be of no consequence.
    One day the UK will be a rerun of Detroit. Or maybe even Iraq.

  12. bloke (not) in spain

    “why indeed do these migrants not stay in Greece, Italy, Spain or France ?Could it be that those countries’ taxpayers are less tolerant of showering darkies with social security?”

    I’ve watched Roma women begging outside Lille-Flandres rail station being clouted round the head with a rifle butt & dragged off by the hair. I’ve seen a bloke of less than French complexion spread-eagled on a Paris street, with a gun at the back of his head, while his papers are inspected. The French police are not gentle souls. And the French just walk by & let them get on with it. Not an indiscriminately welcoming country, France.
    A clue?

  13. Calais actually shows how effective the UK is at keeing would-be illegal immigrants out. Something that would be physically very difficult in continental Europe unless we built a Berlin wall along every international border.

    Per head of domestic population, I understand Macedonia has the highest proportion of illegals (though most of them are on their way elsewhere. With the huge irony that most of them cross from EU and Schengen member Greece on their way to other EU countries. Todays FAZ claims that the Greeks bus their illegals to the Macedonian border and leaves them to make their way from there.

  14. According to the Dublin Regulation, you are not obliged to start your asylum proceedings in the first EU country you come to. But once you have initiated claiming asylum you have to complete it in the country you first claimed in.

  15. bloke (not) in spain

    I’ve never noticed, at Calais, any attempt by the UK at keeping illegals out of the UK. There’s a couple of portacabins where they check passports & I’ve heard HMG might have chipped in a few quid for fencing. No doubt the ferry staff also do their bit but the boats aren’t UK owned.
    Calais, for those who might not have noticed, is in France. Has been since fifteen something, I believe.

  16. bloke (not) in spain

    Y’know, I really wouldn’t blame the French if they just saved themselves a whole load of grief & washed their hands of the problem. Leave it to the Royal Navy to cordon the Channel against shoals of makeshift rafts being paddled Kentwards.. Bricomart-Calais could do a roaring trade in timber, nails & rope. Probably have to open another branch. I just might consider setting up a falafal stand on Bleriot Plage, see if I can’t cash in.

  17. @TDK

    “refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened”

    The key word would seem to be “directly”, ie not via several other countries.

  18. R Slicker-Horrocks

    It’s unusual for a piece like this from Owen Jones not to have the word “demonize” in it. He must be mellowing.

  19. “Every refugee has duties to the country in which he finds himself, which require in particular that he conform to its laws and regulations as well as to measures taken for the maintenance of public order.”
    So he has to eschew breaking into trucks in Calais, which is contrary to French law.
    Article 31 page 29
    “The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense of article 1, enter or
    are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.”
    The key word is “directly”.
    Tim has a point.

  20. I’ve never noticed, at Calais, any attempt by the UK at keeping illegals out of the UK. There’s a couple of portacabins where they check passports…

    …very fucking slowly, I might add, following my experience there last Saturday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *