Homeopathy is a system of medicine that works according to the specific symptoms of a patient. A homeopath prescribes the medicine according to the symptoms and targets the root cause of the disease. Once the root cause of the disease is found and a prescription is issued accordingly, even a little dose of the prescribed medicine would start having a positive effect on the patient.
The issue of irregular immigration can very much be likened to homeopathy in two basic ways. First, in trying to find the root cause of the problem and, then, in targeting the root cause, instead of addressing the problems of its effects. Once the root cause is found and given due attention, I am sure the problem can be solved, if not completely but at least to a satisfactory level.
One should bear in mind that it is not an easy option for immigrants to leave their home, family and dear ones in search of a better life in another country.
So, then, why are so many people leaving all their belongings and put their life in danger to go to another country?
The simple answer is that the perilous political, religious, social and economic situation in their countries leaves them with no other option except migration in the hope of finding a safe haven.
If we analyse the irregular immigration issue, we find that the ratio of migration is very high in those countries where there is no or very little rule of law, where there is no peace and security and where persecution, tribal conflicts, political turmoil and social and economic problems are very pronounced.
In reality, these destitute and vulnerable people who migrate are the victims and not the culprits. They are not the real problem but rather the ones who are deprived of all their fundamental and basic human rights. Thus, when they find shelter in any country, they should be given their due respect and human dignity should not be compromised.
To successfully address this issue of irregular immigration, which is increasing very rapidly, we have to find concrete, sustainable and long-term solutions. Financial support is not the long-term solution.
European Union President Herman Van Rompuy stressed this point and rightly said during his latest visit to Malta that “money alone could not solve the problem” and that “we have to address the root of migration”.
Another very important factor is the increasing problem of human trafficking, where agents receive handsome payments from these vulnerable people in their search of a better life. This issue needs to be solved as well and this cannot be done without the cooperation of those countries whose borders are close to Europe or developed countries.
The ratio of migration is very high in those countries where there is no or very little rule of law
To my understanding, if we want to solve this problem, consultation with all stakeholders is essential to draw a road map to combat this huge problem. It is really very crucial for the world powers to help in the establishment of peace and security in the affected countries and, instead of providing them with weapons and armaments, they should be offered better education facilities and business and work opportunities so they can stand on their own feet.
Many of these countries are rich in natural resources and they may not be in need of financial help. However, due to mismanagement and corruption in their institutions they cannot fully utilise such resources to provide a better life for their people.
A sincere and sympathetic approach of training personnel and strengthening their institutions can also be a very valid proposal.
Access to international markets can help them overcome their many problems at home and strengthen their economy.
Once this issue has been given due attention by the world powers, I am sure there will be positive results that will favour the entire world.
Solving this issue and helping the needy and the destitute would be a great service to mankind.
Laiq Ahmed Atif is president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Malta.