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Re: Refugees and islands
Posted By: koalamom, on host
Date: Monday, September 3, 2001, at 21:30:16
In Reply To: Re: Refugees posted by Sam on Monday, September 3, 2001, at 05:02:51:

> But the thing is, even if you absolutely just cannot take in any more immigrants for practical concerns, as someone else in this thread said, there are still a lot of uninhabited, unused islands in the world where refugees could be allowed to live on, without disturbing anybody. It would be nice if some government somewhere got them started on their new lives with food and shelter and jobs, but given what conditions they are fleeing, I'm sure they'd be happy just to have some spot of land they can squat on and learn to be self-sufficient on.

I see some problems with the "uninhabited islands" solution. First of all, are there really so many uninhabited islands? Whereabouts were you thinking?

Secondly, they're probably uninhabited for a reason:

1) Deserted islands often = desert islands. Many islands are not inhabited because of lack of fresh water. Park somebody there and you'd be obliged to subsidize their need for water (and food) indefinitely. And if you're going to do that, you might as well just let them in your own country and avoid the cost of hauling food & water.

2) I presume some islands are uninhabited because they are isolated. True, I'd refer "solitary confinement" to "death row", but what a choice!
Presumably the refugees are people with talents of *some* sort to contribute to *someone's* society, if not their own. I'd rather see them integrated into a larger society and put them to use, not shuffle them off to some island where they "won't disturb anybody".

And geographic isolation often = economic isolation = less chance for survival. Becoming self-sufficent is a noble goal, but small island populations aren't typically self-sufficient (especially if we're talking about reasonable medical care, for instance, which has been stated elsewhere to be a basic human right).

It sounds like a nice idea, but when you get down to nuts and bolts, I don't think it'd fly.

koala"oh irony, Gilligan's Island just came on TV"mom

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