Podcast: 'Two-tier system' for refugees must not develop in Europe

Podcast: 'Two-tier system' for refugees must not develop in Europe

Migrants gather outside their tents at Karatepe refugee camp, on the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece last year. File picture: AP Photo/Panagiotis Balaskas

How should immigrants be welcomed into Ireland and Europe?

That is the question being asked on The Mick Clifford Podcast after Oxfam Ireland visited a refugee centre that was recently opened in Samos, Greece.


Officials have welcomed the new 'closed controlled access centres' but others have compared them to something approaching prisons.

The centres have also been compared to direct provision in Ireland, prompting the question of how we should be welcoming refugees and immigrants.

Oxfam Ireland’s Aideen Elliot told The Mick Clifford Podcast that Ireland has a role to play in what happens in camps like the ones in Greece.

"Ireland has a role to play in relocating asylum seekers from Greece.

"And also in monitoring the conditions in the camps. Remember, these centres are 100% EU funded, so that means Irish funded as well."

Ms Elliot highlighted the plight of some, saying that at some EU borders there are allegations of people being "pushed back" and sent away.

She said that for people who are in camps like these, they become isolated which means they do not get the opportunity to contribute in their new community.

Addressing the European response to Ukrainian refugees, Ms Elliot said it is "wonderful to see what can be done when EU leaders want to do it and put their heads together".

She added that the public has been ahead of the leaders at times with the "outpouring of solidarity from local communities".

Ms Elliot did warn that leaders cannot respond differently to refugees fleeing different wars.

"What nobody wants is for a two-tier system to develop in Europe.

"Where if you are fleeing one war then you sit in a camp for years surrounded by barb wire fence. And if you're fleeing a different war, then you have an opportunity to rebuild your life.

"We can't have that develop - a kind of a two-tier system."

You can listen to The Mick Clifford Podcast where ever you get your podcasts.

More in this section

Puzzles logo

Puzzles hub

Cookie Policy Privacy Policy FAQ Help Contact Us Terms and Conditions

© Irish Examiner Ltd