4 Innovations That Could Turn Refugees From Burdens Into Assets—And Save Lives

The Syrian refugee crisis has brought out the best and worst in political leaders. Some have opened borders to those fleeing war, persecution, and crisis. Others have shut them down. But one thing is clear: something in the system is broken.

In theory, refugees have the right to seek asylum and either integrate into a host country or return to their home country in time. In practice, millions have been stuck in interminable limbo. And according to international law (but again, also in theory), they are a global responsibility. In reality, nearby nations such as Turkey and Jordan have absorbed most of the costs. However, it doesn’t have to be so black and white, says Alexander Betts, director of the Refugee Studies Center at the University of Oxford.

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