Of the millions of people coming to Europe, tens of thousands are in need of protection, from Iraqis fleeing war coming to Sweden, Afghans looking for peace in Greece, or west Africans escaping political persecution and finding refuge in Malta. Refugees bring into focus Europe’s immigration policies: who we let in who we don’t, and why. This 30 minute special looks at asylum seekers and their rights across the continent, and throughout history:
- Iraqis find refuge in Sweden: in 2007, Sweden accepted the most refugees of any European Country. The overwhelming majority of them are Iraqi. Deirdre Kennedy reports from Malmö.
- Deciding asylum cases in Malta: Jan van der Made speaks with Malta's Refugee Commissioner, Mario Friggieri.
- Blocked in Greece: as a border country, Greece has been overwhelmed with people trying to reach northern or western Europe, and it's unprepared to handle the numbers. Sarah Elzas reports from Athens.
- Are they legal? Asylum seekers, because they often come without papers, are often seen as illegal immigrants. But even though they are undocumented, they aren’t necessarily illegal. Allis Moss reports from London on the problems of mixing up the terms.
- Refuge throughout the ages: While the conflicts and persecution that push people today to leave home may be different from years past, the issues are similar. In the mid 1990s, hundreds of thousands of people came to Western Europe fleeing the Bosnian war. Many have since left, but Thomas Marzahl introduces us to one woman who stayed in Berlin.
This program was produced for Network Europe
and aired January 4, 2009.
Producer: Sarah Elzas with Deirdre Kennedy
, Jan van der Made, Allis Moss and Thomas Marzahl
Recorded in Malmö, Sweeden; Valletta, Malta; Athens, Greece; London, UK; Berlin, Germany