It was a beautiful day. The sun had spread its warm fingers all over MysticLand.
“Can you hear that?” said Verum as a humming sound rose in the dorm room.
“Yes, I can!” said Scorch, “I wonder what today’s news is.”
“You won’t have to wait long to find out,” said Verum, “It’s from Poland, a country in Central Europe. Kamil Syller, a Polish lawyer, has started a project to provide support to migrants crossing over to Poland illegally from Belarus. Those people who travel from their home country to other countries in search of better living conditions are called migrants or immigrants.”
“Right. What is the issue?” said Scorch.
“To give you context, one of Poland’s neighboring countries is Belarus. Recently, many immigrants have tried to enter Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania via Belarus,” added Verum, “According to Poland’s border agency, there have been 16,000 attempted crossings into Poland alone from August this year.”
“That is certainly a drastic increase,” replied Orak, “What could be the reason behind this?”
“Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko has been in power for 27 years. He’s called Europe’s last dictator,” said Verum, “In May, Lukashenko’s regime hijacked a plane flying through Belarusian airspace. So, Western countries placed sanctions on Belarus.”
“Sanctions are penalties applied by one country or a group of countries to another country for disobeying or breaking the law – you had told us about this term. I remember,” Scorch said quickly.
“Right! Now, Poland and the European Union (EU) have accused Lukashenko of inviting immigrants from various countries, including Afghanistan, as a response to the sanctions. He is allegedly promising them that they can crossover into the EU through Belarus,” added Verum, “This will destabilize Belarus’s neighbors.”
“But Verum, under international law, any person in need of international protection must be allowed to seek in international countries, despite borders,” said Orak, “These people can’t be sent back to the countries where they are at risk.”
“You’re right, but Poland has new laws. These laws allow the border guards to remove people who enter Poland illegally,” said Verum, “Many immigrants have been staying in the woods in freezing temperatures. Some of them have lost their lives due to the cold.”
“Oh, no,” said Scorch, “This new law will make things even more difficult for the immigrants!”
“That’s why Syller has requested the Polish people living near the border to switch on a green light,” said Verum, “This light will signal that the immigrants can come to their house for food and shelter.”
“That’s a nice idea,” said Felix.
“Yes, but it could backfire,” replied Verum, “What if the border guards start targeting these houses? It’ll make the situation more dangerous for the immigrants.”
“True but at least, it’s a step,” said Scorch.