War Refugees

Risk, Justice, and Moral Responsibility

The current refugee crisis is unparalleled in history in its size and severity. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are roughly 67 million refugees worldwide, the vast majority of whom are refugees as the result of wars and other military actions. Les mer
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The current refugee crisis is unparalleled in history in its size and severity. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are roughly 67 million refugees worldwide, the vast majority of whom are refugees as the result of wars and other military actions. This social and political crisis-1 in every 122 humans is a refugee-cries out for normative explanation and analysis. Morally and politically, how should we understand this crisis? How should we respond to it, and why?
Jennifer Kling argues that war refugees have suffered, and continue to suffer, a series of harms, wrongs, and oppressions, and so are owed recompense, restitution, and aid-as a matter of justice-by socio-political institutions around the world. She makes the case that war refugees should be viewed and treated differently than migrants, due to their particular circumstances, but that their circumstances do not wholly alleviate their own moral responsibilities. We must stop treating refugees as objects to be moved around on the global stage, Kling contends, and instead see them as people, with their own subjective experiences of the world, who might surprise us with their words and works.

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