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Week 24: Debate on flight and migration on International Refugee Day

New figures from the UNHCR show that more than 80 million people are currently on the run and that the number has more than doubled in the last ten years. This week, the debate has revolved around several aspects of flight and migration and several debaters believe that the rich countries in the world must take joint responsibility for the situation. Democracy and climate linked to the Chinese regime have also been debated and Swedish companies should stop assisting dictatorships in oppressing LGBTQI people.

Among other things, on the occasion of the International Refugee Day, the debate has revolved around several aspects of flight and migration. New figures from the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, show that more than 80 million people are currently on the run and that the number has more than doubled in ten years. Åsa Widell, Secretary General of Sweden for UNHCR, believes that the world must take joint responsibility for the situation and it is the poorest countries that today take the greatest responsibility for the world's refugees.

- The poor countries remember what we in Europe seem to have forgotten: the right to asylum is not an opinion, it is a human right. When the number of people forced to flee increases drastically, the responsibility for them must be shared in solidarity between the countries of the world.

Amnesty turns in a debate article in ETC. against a new migration law that they believe risks leading to great suffering and further complicates the integration of the people who are granted protection in Sweden. They appeal to the members of the Riksdag to vote against the proposal:

- Sweden should instead clearly and clearly do everything it can to give good examples of what international refugee law and international law means and demands of states. Because if Sweden and the EU, which belong to the richest part of the world, do not protect the right to asylum and respect for refugee status, one may ask why countries in other parts of the world, where almost nine out of ten people are on the run, should stay at all open their borders and continue to house those in need of protection

Several researchers in the field of migration shed light on this in an article in Dagens nyheter that most people who have not been granted asylum in Sweden, and therefore returned to Afghanistan and Iraq, live in miserable conditions. They believe that a majority of this group plans to re-migrate to Sweden or to another EU country according to a report based on interviews with one hundred returnees. In the article, the researchers highlight four points, aimed at decision-makers in Sweden, in order to create better conditions for a sustainable return.

Moderate Tomas Tobé turns in a debate article in Expressen against what he calls “the MP's fine ideals” and believes that they lead to death in the Mediterranean and that various solutions for asylum testing outside the EU's borders should not be rejected.

Democracy and climate in China

Due to the crackdown on the Apple Daily in Hong Kong, the democracy movement in China has been discussed. The editorial staff at Dagens nyheter thinks that one of the most important democratic voices has now been silenced and that the Chinese regime is gradually suffocating freedom.

- The democratic world - including the business community - must nevertheless stand together against Beijing, defend its own freedom and help others to expand it. Unlike China's prisons, our open societies have an attractiveness. Just listen to the people of Hong Kong.

In another opinion piece so China's climate work is criticized. China is currently planning for a coal power expansion that corresponds to Germany's total electricity power needs, and the author believes that it will be a challenge to ensure that China meets international climate promises:

- That China is involved in the international climate work is absolutely necessary. It is the world's most populous nation, the one that accounts for the largest emissions, and they are thus increasing. Convincing China to sign conventions has often been difficult, but the real challenge is to ensure that the country lives up to its commitments.

Marital waste, hbtqi & Rwanda

In other respects, the debate this week has revolved around various topics. In a closing remarks Regarding the Swedish mining company Boliden's toxic waste in Chile, the UN rapporteur Marcos Orellana believes that Sweden should take back the toxic waste and work together to ensure that the people in the affected area in Chile have access to adequate medical support.

In a debate article in Omvärlden argues the Swedish Federation for the rights of homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender people, queeras and intersex people, RFSL, for Swedish companies to stop assisting dictatorships to oppress LGBTQI people.

- It is remarkable that Swedish companies contribute to authoritarian leaders being given increased opportunities to monitor and censor groups that are already living under enormous oppression, according to RFSL's union president Deidre Palacios.

The former Social Democrat politician and lawyer Thomas Bodström believes, together with two other lawyers, in DN that it is a legal scandal that the Swedish government is helping the dictatorship in Rwanda to persecute political opponents:

- The government has given the go-ahead for an investigation into the extradition of a Rwandan citizen. All evidence comes from the authoritarian regime in the country. But for us lawyers, it is practically impossible to obtain rebuttal. The man's rights are therefore violated not only in Rwanda but also in Sweden.


A selection of the last week's editorial and debate articles on global development and Sweden's role in the world: 

Migration and flight

We appeal to our elected representatives: Vote no to the Migration Act
Amnesty, ETC.

The right to asylum is threatened by increasingly harsh refugee policies
Åsa Widell from UNHCR, Aftonbladet.

"Returnees in Afghanistan want to return to Sweden"
André Asplund, Constanza Vera Larrucea and Henrik Malm Lindberg from Delmi, Dagens nyheter.

The MP's fine ideals lead to death in the Mediterranean
Tomas Tobé (M), Expressen.

Democracy and climate in China

Beijing turns Hong Kong into a prison
The editorial staff, Dagens nyheter.

Therefore, it is right that China's expansion of coal power is monitored by satellite
Jens Runnberg, Today's news.


"Human rights must be the framework for all policies"
Antje Jackelén from the Church of Sweden, Dagens nyheter.

"Remedying toxic waste would be a powerful signal"
Marcos Orellana, UN Rapporteur, Svenska dagbladet.

RFSL: Do not assist dictatorships in oppressing LGBTQI people
Deidre Palacios from RFSL, Omvärlden.

"Government helps Rwanda with political persecution"
Thomas Bodström, Hanna Larsson Rampe and Anna Wahlström, Dagens nyheter.

Makes it as easy to compare climate footprints as kilo price
Susanne Nyström, Dagens nyheter.

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