Refugee And The Concept Of Refugee

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As a concept that is becoming commonplace in mainstream society the concept or status or refugee is a concept of high importance in the anthropological study of conflict within and across borders as well as the impact this has on host societies. Refugee is officially defined by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) as a person “who has been forced to flee his or her country because of persecution, war, or violence. A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.” (UNHCR, 2016). Whilst this definition may initially come across as straight forward the concept of refugee is multifaceted and complicated as it often gets mixed…show more content…
The concept and prevelance of a greatly increasing refugee population globaly is having a widely felt impact on a global level. The concept of Refugee really plays into discourse on the impact that conflict and war has on everyday civilians, those that are not an active part in the conflict but are merely passive victims. Anthropologists look at the agency of those Civilians and the way that the term refugee both can take and give agency, it plays into debates about human rights; who has them and who doesn’t, what rights are absolutely paramount and which rights can come second (Zamfir, 2015). Having been given refugee status is meant to allow at least the first tier of rights however when are 51.2 million people are trying to escape persecution it becomes problematic. The concept of refugee allows those who most…show more content…
Due to recent events, explicitly the multitude of attacks in France and Germany in current media, the concept of refugee has been entangled and associated with notions of terrorism and violence. The status of refugee is vital in order for those who are displaced in conflict to be able to be accepted by the global community. The whole idea behind being a refugee is that you should be able to find a new safe place to live. The stigmatisation of refugees and the association with terror attacks, with violence, with disharmony is causing a vast dichotomy between what it truly means to be a refugee and those terrorists who exploit refugee status to further their own self, or group interests. Issues with media go hand in hand with current issues with refugee. Whilst Anthropologists seek to understand why and how people are affected by conflict and then becoming refugees the media largely tend to undermine this, thus undermining the validity behind claims of refugee. It is also the interchangeability the media uses between the terms migrant and refugees that limits the way the concept of refugee is used. The difference is important however as Refugees are protected under international and national laws whereas migrants are not afforded the same protections and are subject to immigration policy and nations have no obligation to take

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