When the two words “border crisis” are heard many people assume that Mexico is being talked about. However, there is another border crisis happening in the world that many people do not know about and it has been ongoing for many months. Poland has been denying migrants from Belarus entrance into their country.
Those who are migrating are from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa. Many of these migrants do not want to stay in Poland, but continue on to Germany, according to The Guardian. These people are fleeing dangerous conditions within their home countries and are looking for refuge in Germany. Particularly, those from Afghanistan are leaving their home country as the Taliban has taken over.
Due to the influx of people at the border, Poland has equipped their police with riot gear to mitigate issues. Some migrants have tried to enter Poland by cutting holes into the fences to enter. Poland retaliated against these people by using chemical sprays.
Given the conditions that these people are in, the use of chemical sprays seems inhumane. These migrants are mostly women and children camping in tents with campfires. They are experiencing freezing temperatures with the temperatures falling below freezing overnight.
The conditions that these people are in have left at least eight people dead due to exposure. Poland does not have any intentions to let these people into the country.
Poland, among others, is blaming Belarus for this border crisis. Belarus has stated that transportation would be provided to the Poland border, to those migrating from the Middle East and Africa once they traveled to Minsk.
Others believe Belarus’ actions to be revenge, orchestrated by Belarus’ president, Alexander Lukashenko, for sanctions and “criticism of his brutal crackdown on the Belarusian opposition.”
A state of emergency has been called into effect due to this border crisis and unfortunately this state of emergency has been used to harm those who are migrating. Aid has been prevented from reaching these migrants. New laws have been put into effect, allowing asylum claims to be denied and migrants to be forced back into Belarus.
Non-governmental organizations (NGO’s) and international organizations have asked Poland to allow aid to be given to these migrants so that a humanitarian crisis may be avoided.
Poland’s stance on refusing to allow migrants into its borders looks to be concrete. As the temperatures continue to drop in “no man’s land” between the border of both Poland and Belarus, it looks as though this crisis will get much worse. This crisis does not look like it will end soon either.
Poland’s border crisis is quite flooring in that people are being treated like they are less than animals. Human lives are trying to be balanced, by the European Union, against political considerations, like they are nothing more than pieces to a game. In crises like these, I personally believe that political aspects are focused on too much. Human lives are at stake and political leaders, like those of Poland, have left these people out to die.