Moreover, the insistence on rights and their possible infringement puts those responsible for addressing the refugee problem in a prevention state of mind (as already noted). Rather than focusing efforts to maximize refugees’ well-being, the ‘rights’ approach aims to minimize rights’ violations (and bearing the corresponding punishment). Ironically, this betrays concern about the institutional care takers (them doing the “right thing”) more than about the refugees entrusted to their care.
The refugee problem is universal and growing; it has the potential to destabilize societies and to fuel violence and extremism worldwide. Ignoring it is at our own risk and so is viewing it through lens of outmoded stereotypes and myths whose veracity was disproven by a myriad of facts already.
Arie W. Kruglanski is a Distinguished University Professor at the University of Maryland, and was a founding Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Terrorism and the Response to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.