Alexander Betts comments on the Calais migrant 'crisis'

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    Jey OH photographie / Flickr, 'Quand ta vie s'enfuit...' (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Alexander Betts has appeared widely in the media giving expert comment on the Calais migrant 'crisis', and the UK government's response.

Quoted in The Independent (02 August), Alexander gave his response to the UK government's proposed changes which would make it easier to remove support from migrants whose asylum claims have been rejected.

He warned that there was a risk that the proposals could breach human rights law: "There’s a basic assumption within human rights law that as a government you have to provide economic rights for people who are on your territory... There have been cases in the past of rejected asylum seekers taking governments in Europe to the European Court of Rights and being found against on the basis of destitution."

The full article can be read at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/calais-crisis-uk-urged-to-take-in-more-asylum-seekers-as-fears-grow-that-migrants-may-target-belgian-ports-10433976.html.

He was also quoted in the Washington Post (30 July) on the same subject, saying "The few thousand people in Calais and trying to reach the U.K. mainly come from refugee-producing countries like Syria, Eritrea and Somalia — and we have obligations under international law to at least allow them to claim asylum."

The Washington Post article can be read at https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/07/30/why-the-language-we-use-to-talk-about-refugees-matters-so-much/?postshare=711438291363843

Alexander has also written for the Guardian website (04 August) on why millionaire Jason Buzi's suggestion that a new nation be created to provide a home for the world's refugees is well intentioned, but misguided. That article can be read at http://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2015/aug/04/refugee-nation-migration-jason-buzi.

He has also recently appeared on BBC News at Five (3 August), commenting on the government's response to the 'Calais crisis'. This can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrhwscc13Es

Professor Alexander Betts is Professor in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, and Director of the Refugee Studies Centre, Department of International Development