Syrian Refugee Problem

Syrian Refugee problem is an on-going humanitarian crisis, which is affecting not only theSyrian people, but affecting various other European countries. The exodus of the refugees is massive and this is due to the internal conflict in the country. The issue had to be addressed on war footing basis, to stop this migration from Syria.

What differentiates human beings from animals if both of them fight whilst the former has a complex form of communication? John F. Kennedy once said that, "Mankind must put an end to war before war ends mankind." It is time that mankind has to reflect on how to end wars as it manifests itself in the famous words of Thomas Mannthat it's a cowardly escape from the problems associated with peace.

This paper brings to light the recent crisis in Syria while digging out the root cause of this problem. Moreover, the paper highlights the relevant statistics pertaining to the present situation and the media coverage. It submits the roles played by different governments that extended an olive leaf to the refugees against the ones that denied the refugees access to their countries. It finally gives recommendations on what should be taken into consideration to help end the stalemate. 

Background of the problem

(Lucy, David & Patrick; Para 1) It was March, 2011 and the Syrian government had arrested a few teenagers over allegations of painting revolutionary slogans on the wall of their school. This triggered pro-democracy protests with the southern city of Deraa being on the front. Security officers opened fire on the demonstrators killing several of them; this led to more people taking to the streets demanding for President Assad's resignation. Little did the government know that use of force only hardened the undying spirit of the protesters.By the end of July of the same year, hundreds of thousands of protesters trickled into the streets. Moreover, the opposition supporters were not hesitant in taking up firearms as a means of defence which later manifested into push out security forces from their localities.

            The protests finally developed into a fully grown civil war. By the end of June of 2013, the United Nations gave estimates of about 90,000 losing their lives to the war. However, this crisis deepened leading to loss of 191,000 lives by August 2014 and 250,000 by August of 2015 according to UN.

            The rise in death tolls created unease and people started fleeing for their lives. By mid-2014, estimates by OCHA indicated that about 10.8 million out of 22 million population had been affected by the war with 605 million being internally displaced. Moreover, the UN estimates that more than 1.5 million refugees have fled out of Syria to seek asylum in peaceful neighbouring countries.

This figure includes 2.1 million Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, 1.9 million registered with the Turkish government and the more than 26,700 registered in North Africa.


Male (49.7%)


(50.3%) Female


0 - 4



5 - 11



12 - 17



18 - 59



60 +


 Present situation and the media coverage

            The media for a while was silent on the crisis in Syria as the situation kept deteriorating. At the moment the war is not getting any better and this compels more people to flee Syria while those in exile in Turkey give up hope of going back home.

There is reason for alarm as Turkey has proven more than once not to be a country for long term settlement. This is despite the fact that it has opened it borders for more than 2 million Syrian refugees. Nevertheless, Syrians don't have rights to legally work in Turkey hence making life harder for the refugees. Syrian refugees also had a major setback when AKP party of Syria that is always viewed as favourable to Syrian refugees lost in the elections.

The United Nations bodies working in conjunction millions of refugees spread over Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are raising alarms of running out of funds hence making conditions in the camps unbearable. This is despite the UNHCR's appeal for funding while the rich countries contributing and a deficit of 40% from the target realised.

The UN formed a commission of inquiry so as to investigate allegations of gross violations of human rights from March 2011. The commission found out that both parties (the reigning government and the opposition) had committed war crimes ranging from murder, rape, torture and enforced disappearances. The findings were even more worrying as both the warring parties adopted mechanisms as depriving civilians of basic needs of access to food, health services and water as a means of war.

A UN Security Council Resolution was passed in February 2014 demanding that all parties put an end to the use of weapons indiscriminately in populated areas. However, activists point out that government aircrafts have been dropping barrel bombs on areas perceived to be under the control of the rebels. The UN further accused Islamic states for waging a terror campaign on the northern and eastern parts of Syria. These states inflict severe punishments on anyone questioning their laws while its fighters involving themselves in mass killings. Moreover, they have often beheaded any Western captives, minority religious minority groups.

Steps taken by various governments to resolve the problem

            Different governments have had different views regarding the state of Syria. European countries for a very long time kept quiet on the fate of refugees as they kept their borders closed and guarded by a heavy military presence. However, this was not the case with Syria's neighbours as Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan struggling to accommodate the influx of arrivals who are majorly women and children.

            Europe has always stood aside with regard to the Syrian case. It is only recently that a photo of a boy washed ashore created uproar from the world all over. Further, Germany has announced through her chancellor that she is willing to play host to the refugees despite resistance from other European countries claiming overpopulation of their countries. The United States of America however has been on the forefront in air strike fights on the militia despite Russia taking stand contrary to this.


There is need for good coordination championed by the UNHCR to see to it that all refugee camps are well equipped with the basic necessities. This body also ought to identify other bodies that it can use to reach more refugees numbers that are always rising by the day.

The UN as an organization ought to lobby for more funds from donor countries so as to meet the demands of refugees in camps as well as those receiving support from their homes. The EU (28 countries) ought to pass bills on policies allowing refugees to be hosted in her member countries so to reduce the burden that only a few countries brunt.


This paper argues out the cause of war in Syria highlighting factors that propelled it to the level it is at now. It further submits analysis of the role played by the media and UNHCR as a humanitarian body in the face of humanitarian crisis in Syria. It discusses the roles played by different countries (both positive and negative). It draws attention to what ought to be done by with time to see normalcy restored to this war-torn country that once knew peace.


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