Refugees are not “political resources”


Somali refugees in eastLeigh Kenya photo by Moulid Hujale IRIN

Somalilandsun- In a provocative article in The Guardian on Sunday, Professor Alexander Betts (director of the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University) argued that a view of refugees as potential economic contributors to their receiving societies must be complemented by a more radical “rethinking of the role of refugees in society”, one that sees refugees as political resources for reshaping regimes in their countries of origin. Within a day, the article was shared on Facebook by Melissa Fleming, official spokesperson for the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees, with the caption “refugees don’t just  have economic potential – they are a political resource too”.

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