In the same week as it was revealed America is keeping refugee children in cages, Hungary introduced a new 25 percent tax on pro-migration groups and the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh was battered by monsoons, the U.N. announced that across the world refugee numbers are at a record high at some 68.5 million persons suffering from “forced displacement.”
According to a new report released by the U.N. Refugee Agency, every two seconds someone, somewhere on the planet, is forced to flee their home—and over half of these are children. In an interview with the BBC, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said the most obvious reason for the rocketing numbers is “because we’ve become unable to solve conflicts.”
Grandi went on the say the report was a direct response to standing international tensions: “The report is almost symbolic of the situation of millions of refugees displaced around the world. They flee from war, persecution, and violence, and often end up in situations that are equally as fragile.”
This unrest is spread disproportionately. Across the world, one in every 110 people is displaced, but two-thirds come from the same five countries; Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. Last year alone, there were 16.2 million new refugees made.
In an era when 280 characters stoke geopolitical fires, it’s no surprise that contemporary diplomacy is fragile. During Monday’s meeting by the National Space Council, Trump said: “You look at what’s happening in Europe, you look at what’s happening in other places, we can’t allow that to happen to the United States.” He then added, “Not on my watch.” Trump’s fantasy of America mirroring whatever skewed perception of the present migrant situation in Germany isn’t just an out-and-out lie (Germany’s crime is at the lowest it’s been since 1992), but it’s totally blinkered to what’s going on in the rest of the world. Consider that eighty-five percent of refugees live in countries like Lebanon, Pakistan and Uganda. The reality is that Europe has only played a minor role in opening its boarders to the crisis—and America’s role has been even more negligible. By April of this year, the Syrian war had a death toll well above half a million civilians. Meanwhile, the grand total of Syrian refugees the U.S. has welcomed stands at a whopping 11 people.