Transcript: Ben Rawlence: The World's Largest Refugee Camp | Jan 20, 2016

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, white shirt, and blue tie.

A caption on screen reads “The world’s largest refugee camp.”

Steve says FOR ALL THE WORLD'S
ATTENTION FOCUSED ON SYRIA'S
REFUGEES, THEY ARE, SADLY, ONLY
THE MOST RECENT PEOPLES SO
AFFLICTED.
IN 1992, IT WAS SOMALIS WHO FLED
INTO THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH
COMMISSION ON REFUGEES CAMP IN
DADAAB, KENYA - NOW HOME TO
ROUGHLY 500,000 PEOPLE.
BEN RAWLENCE IS THE AUTHOR OF
“CITY OF THORNS, NINE LIVES IN
THE WORLD'S LARGEST REFUGEE
CAMP,” AND HE JOINS US FOR MORE.

A picture of the book appears briefly. The cover features a picture of a woman walking in the desert with a young child, seen from behind.
Then, Ken appears. He’s in his thirties, with short curly blond hair and a stubble. He’s wearing a beige suit and white shirt.

Steve continues WE'RE HAPPY TO WELCOME YOU ALL
THE WAY OVER FROM WALES TO ONE
OF YOUR COLONIES.
WELCOME TO CANADA.
LET'S START BY READING AN
EXCERPT FROM YOUR BOOK AND THEN
WE'LL SHOW, ACTUALLY, THE PLACE
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.
SHELDON, IF YOU WOULD?

A quote appears on screen, under the title “Welcome home.” It shows a picture of a girl playing in the desert. The quote reads “The town of Dadaab clings to the flat red plain a hair’s breadth above the equator. Thorn trees stretch in a stubborn thicket for hundreds of miles in every direction... In the local dialect, the name Dadaab means ‘the rocky hard place,’ because two inches below the red sand are sheets of diamond-hard stone. Those first inhabitants had no idea how appropriate the name would become.”
Quoted from Ben Rawlence, “City of thorns” (2015)

Steve says LET'S ALSO, IF WE
CAN, BRING A MAP UP AS WELL AND
WE'LL SHOW EVERYBODY, IN CASE
THEY DON'T KNOW, AND I WILL
CONFESS, I HAD HEARD NEXT TO
NOTHING ABOUT THIS PLACE UNTIL I
SAW YOUR BOOK.
THAT'S THE PART OF THE WORLD
THAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.

A map of eastern Africa pops up highlighting Dadaab, north-east of Nairobi in Kenya.

Steve continues IF WE GO TO VISIT THERE, AS YOU
DID, BEN, WHAT WILL WE FIND?

The caption changes to "Ben Rawlence. Author ‘City of thorns.’"
Then, it changes again to “Seeking shelter in the desert.”

Ben says WELL, AS YOU
DESCRIBED IN THAT PASSAGE, WHAT
YOU'LL FIND IS A FLAT, RED PLAIN
FOR HUNDREDS OF MILES IN EVERY
DIRECTION AND IN THE MIDDLE,
CLUSTERED AROUND THIS SMALL TOWN
OF DADAAB, IT'S FIVE REFUGEE
CAMPS.
EACH ONE IS LIKE SOME KIND OF
GIANT SUBURB LAID OUT IN A GRID
FASHION, BUT THE HOUSES IN THOSE
GRIDS ARE MADE OF MUD, STICKS,
PLASTIC, AND THE FENCES BETWEEN
THE HOUSES ARE ALL MADE OF
THORNS, WHICH IS WHERE YOU GET
THE NAME “CITY OF THORNS.”

Steve says HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE
SENT THERE ORIGINALLY TWO-PLUS
DECADES AGO?

A picture of a massive refugee camp pops up.

Ben says IN THE EARLY
'90s WHEN THE SOMALI CIVIL WAR
HAPPENED AND THE GOVERNMENT
UNRAVELED, THERE WAS A BLACKHAWK
DOWN, AS YOU MAY REMEMBER.
AROUND 90,000 PEOPLE FOUND THEIR
WAY ACROSS THE BORDER TO THIS
DESERT IN NORTHERN KENYA AND
THEY WERE SETTLED IN THREE CAMPS
AND THAT POPULATION, OF COURSE,
THEN REPRODUCED, MORE WAVES OF
PEOPLE AFFECTED BY CONFLICT
CAME, AND NOW WE HAVE FIVE CAMPS
AND THE OFFICIAL REFUGEE
POPULATION IS AROUND 350,000 BUT
THERE ARE MANY OTHERS LIVING IN
THE CAMPS TOO.

Steve says WHO SET UP THE CAMP
IN THE FIRST PLACE?

Ben says IT WAS THE
U.N. BECAUSE KENYA IS A POOR COUNTRY.
KENYA REQUESTED THE U.N. TO
ASSIST IT IN MANAGING THE
REFUGEE BURDEN.
SO THE U.N. WAS THE ONE WHO
ORIGINALLY MANAGED EVERYTHING
AND THEY'RE STILL DOING IT NOW
25 YEARS LATER ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS.

Steve says PRESUMABLY IT WAS
NOT MEANT TO BE A PLACE FOR HALF
A MILLION PEOPLE, THOUGH.

Ben says NO, EXACTLY.

Steve says SO HOW IN HEAVEN'S
NAME ARE THEY MANAGING?

Ben says WELL, THEY'RE
MANAGING BECAUSE THE U.N. IS
SUPPLYING THE CAMP WITH FOOD.
THERE ARE BORE HOLES IN THE
GROUND TO BRING UP THE WATER.
BUT PEOPLE AREN'T MANAGING,
REALLY.
THEY'RE JUST ABOUT CLINGING ON
SOMEHOW TO MAKE A LIFE FOR
THEMSELVES.
THIS IS LIKE SOME SORT OF
PARALLEL PLANET, REALLY, WHERE
LIFE HAS TAKEN ON A SHAPE OF ITS
OWN BECAUSE THE KENYAN
GOVERNMENT DOESN'T ALLOW
PERMANENT STRUCTURES, NO
CONCRETE, NO BRICK.
SO EVERYTHING'S MADE OF TIN AND
TWO-BY-FOUR AND PLASTIC --

Steve says THIS IS THE FUNNY THING.
IT WAS MEANT TO BE A TEMPORARY
WAYSTATION UNTIL THEY COULD FIND
PLACES TO LIVE?

Another picture of the camp shows a woman walking towards a collection of hundreds of tents in a barren landscape.

Ben says EXACTLY.
ONCE UPON A TIME YOU WOULD GO TO
A REFUGEE CAMP, YOU WOULD EXPECT
TO SPEND SOME YEARS THERE AND
EITHER YOU GO BACK TO YOUR HOME
COUNTRY WHERE THERE'S PEACE OR
YOU FIND A NEW LIFE IN YOUR NEW
COUNTRY OR GET RESETTLED UNDER
THIS U.N. PROGRAM.
PART OF THE REASON DADAAB HAS
GROWN IS THIS HAS BROKEN AND
RICH COUNTRIES DON'T WANT TO
ACCEPT, RESETTLE REFUGEES SO
EVERYONE IS STUCK.
DADAAB IS ONE CITY.
THERE ARE MANY OF THEM.
THERE ARE AROUND 14 MILLION
PROTRACTED REFUGEES STUCK IN CAMP.
SO THE MILLION THAT HAVE COME TO
EUROPE RECENTLY, MOSTLY SYRIANS
BUT NOT ALL BY ANY MEANS IS JUST
A DROP IN THE OCEAN.

The caption changes to "Life in Dadaab."

Steve says WHEN WE SAY THESE
THINGS ARE MEANT TO BE TEMPORARY
PLACES TO LIVE, NOBODY REALLY
THOUGHT 20 YEARS WAS TEMPORARY?

Ben says NO.
AND EVERYBODY IS STILL DENYING,
IN FACT, THAT THEY'RE PERMANENT,
BECAUSE THE KENYAN GOVERNMENT
DOESN'T WANT THE CAMP THERE, SO
IT DOESN'T ALLOW ANY PERMANENCE.
THE U.N. OF COURSE IS STILL
TREATING IT AS AN EMERGENCY
SITUATION.
YOU HAVE ALL THE HUMANITARIAN
EMERGENCY OPERATORS LIKE DOCTORS
WITHOUT BORDERS, OXFAM, SAVE THE
CHILDREN.
THEY'RE ALL IN THE CAMP WITH
SORT OF TEMPORARY FUNDING AS
WELL.
BUT MOST INTERESTINGLY OF ALL,
THE REFUGEES, ACTUALLY, DON'T
ACCEPT THAT IT'S PERMANENT
EITHER.
THEY'RE ALL STILL DREAMING THAT
HOPEFULLY ONE DAY THERE'S A
FUTURE FOR THEM OUTSIDE.

Steve says WHAT ETHNICITIES
LIVE IN DADAAB?

Ben says WELL, THE
MAJORITY ARE SOMALIS, ABOUT 95 percent,
BUT THERE ARE ALSO PEOPLE FROM
ETHIOPIA, FROM SUDAN.
SO ONE OF THE INTERESTING
STORIES IN THE CAMP IS A LOVE
STORY BETWEEN A YOUNG WOMAN, A
SOMALI BORN IN THE CAMP, AND A
YOUNG MAN FROM SUDAN WHO WAS A
LOST BOY.
OF COURSE SOME WERE RESETTLED TO
NORTH AMERICA BUT THERE ARE MANY
STILL THERE AND THIS YOUNG MAN
IS CALLED MONDAY.
HE FELL IN LOVE WITH MUNA AND
THEY HAVE A BABY.
THAT IS ANATHEMA TO THE
HARD-LINE FAMILY OF MUNA WHO
DON'T WANT THEIR DAUGHTER TO
HAVE A MIXED FAITH BABY.
SO A PLOT IS HATCHED TO KIDNAP
THE INFANT AND SACRIFICE IT AS
SOME KIND OF HONOUR KILLING.
AND THEN A WHOLE DRAMA ENSUES
WHICH YOU CAN READ ABOUT IN THE
BOOK, BUT THE LOST BOYS THEN
HAVE TO DEFEND THE FAMILY WITH
SPEARS FROM THE SOMALI MOB WHO
WANT TO COME AND TAKE THE KID.
SO THIS SHOWS YOU SOME OF THE
TENSIONS THAT ARE GOING ON IN
THE CAMP EVEN THOUGH IT'S A
REFUGE FOR PEOPLE SEEKING
SAFETY.
SO THAT FAMILY THEN HAVE TO GO
TO A SAFE HAVEN WITHIN THE CAMP
AND ALL SORTS OF OTHER THINGS
ENSUE.

Steve says ONE PARENT IS
SOMALI, ONE PARENT IS
SUDANESE --

Ben says CHRISTIANS.

Steve says AND WHAT IS THE
NATIONALITY OF THE CHILD?

Ben says THE CHILD IS
STATELESS.
SHE, A YOUNG GIRL, CALLED
CHRISTINE, HAD AS A BIRTH
CERTIFICATE, BUT IT HAS A BIG
RED STAMP ON IT THAT SAYS
“REFUGEE.”
SO FOR A WHOLE GENERATION
GROWING UP IN THE CAMP, THERE
ARE NOW I THINK 20,000, 30,000
WHO HAVE BEEN BORN IN THE CAMP
WHO DON'T HAVE ANY NATIONALITY
AT ALL, FOR THEM THE FUTURE IS
VERY BLEAK.

Another picture shows two women with a small child standing by a tent in the desert.

Steve says THIS CAMP IS IN KENYA.
HOW DO THE KENYANS FEEL ABOUT
HAVING THIS LARGE GROUP OF
REFUGEES LIVING WITHIN THEIR
BORDERS?

Ben says THERE ARE
VERY LIVE TENSIONS IN KENYA
AROUND THE REFUGEE ISSUE.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS SAID SEVERAL
TIMES THAT IT WANTS TO CLOSE THE CAMP.
EVERY TIME THERE'S AN AL-SHABAAB
TERRORIST ATTACK IN KENYA, THE
MEDIA IS VERY QUICK TO POINT THE
FINGER AT DADAAB, AT THE
REFUGEES, EVEN THOUGH THERE'S NO
EVIDENCE LINKING THE EXTREMISTS
WITH THE REFUGEE POPULATION.

Steve says LET'S JUST BE CLEAR
ABOUT THAT.
THE SENSE IS THAT SOMEHOW THE
SEEDS OF THE TERRORISM COME FROM
THESE CAMPS THAT WE'RE TALKING
ABOUT.

Ben says YES.

Steve says BUT THERE IS NO
EVIDENCE OF A CONNECTION?

Ben says NO, NO,
THERE'S NOT.
NOBODY HAS BEEN ABLE TO PROVE
THAT LINK AT ALL.
BUT THERE IS THIS ASSUMPTION
THAT ALL SOMALIS ARE SOMEHOW
TERRORISTS.
IN FACT, THE REFUGEES WHO ARE IN
THE CAMP HAVE FLED FROM
AL-SHABAAB.
IF THEY WENT BACK TO SOMALIA, IF
YOU HAVE A RATION CARD WITH A
U.N. NUMBER AND SO ON, IT'S VERY
LIKELY THAT AL-SHABAAB WILL
APPREHEND YOU AND MAY EXECUTE
YOU FOR TAKING THE FOOD OF THE
INFIDELS.
THAT'S WHAT THEY SAY.
SO TO BE A REFUGEE, IN A WAY,
YOU ARE VERY MUCH CAUGHT BETWEEN
A ROCK AND THIS HARD PLACE,
BECAUSE AL-SHABAAB CAN EXACT
REVENGE AND EQUALLY THE KENYANS
DON'T WANT YOU EITHER.

Steve says HOW MANY MILLIONS OF
PEOPLE LIVING IN REFUGEE CAMPS
AROUND THE WORLD RIGHT NOW?

Ben says THERE ARE 14
MILLION IN THE PROTRACTED
REFUGEE SITUATION WHICH MEANS
THEY'VE BEEN
DISPLACED FOR MORE THAN 5 YEARS

Steve says SO 14 MILLION AND HALF
A MILLION IN THIS PLACE

Ben says HALF A MILLION
IN THIS PARTICULAR PLACE

Steve says HOW REPRESENTATIVE IS
DADAAB AND TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES
THAT THE REMAINING 13 AND A HALF
MILLION ARE LIVING IN?

A picture shows the inside of one of the tents. It’s patched up with different types of fabric and has no protection on the ground.

Ben says WELL THERE ARE
POPULATIONS ALL OVER THE PLACE
FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE CAMPS ON
THE TAI BURMA BORDER
THERE ARE A LARGE NUMBER OF
PEOPLE FROM DALPHOR AND CHAD
THERE ARE LOTS OF CAMPS IN SOUTH
SUDAN
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC, THERE
ARE ALSO CAMPS IN ETHIOPIA
AND PEOPLE FROM SOMALIA AND SO
ON
AND CERTAINLY ACROSS THE HORN OF
AFRICAMANY OF THEM DO LOOK LIKE
DADAAB THERE IS ANOTHER REFUGEE
CAMP IN KENYA THE SECOND LARGEST
IN THE WORLD CALLED KOKUMA
WHICH IS 250 THOUSAND PEOPLE
WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED AT
SAME TIME. SO THIS A BIG REALITY
IN WHICH THE WORLD HAS TO WAKE
TO WHICH IS THESE PLACES ARE
BECOMING PERMANENT
AND WE NEED TO ACCEPT THAT AND
WE NEED TO TREAT THEM AS SUCH

Steve says WE CALL THEM CAMPS
BUT THEY'RE NOT CAMPS AT ALL.
THEY'RE CITIES.

Ben says THEY'RE CITIES.
THE REFUGEES WILL SAY IT'S AN
OPEN PRISON BECAUSE THEY CAN'T
LEAVE.
YOU HAVE A SOUTH AFRICAN
APARTHEID SYSTEM TO LEAVE THE
CAMP, TO GO BACK DOWN INTO
KENYA, SO PEOPLE ARE VERY MUCH
CONFINED.

Now a picture shows people queueing up with plastic containers to collect water.

Steve says HOW SAFE IS IT TO
LIVE THERE?

Ben says IT'S -- THERE
ARE PROBLEMS BECAUSE OF COURSE
THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH POLICE,
IT'S SPREAD OVER SUCH A LARGE AREA.
YOU HAVE THESE LARGE GRIDS WHERE
FROM ONE END TO THE OTHER IT'S
AT LEAST 30 MILES.
SO SOME PARTS OF THE CAMP ARE
QUITE REMOTE, THEY'RE NOT
WELL-SERVED, AND THERE THEY HAVE
PROBLEMS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND
THERE'S PROBLEMS OF DOMESTIC
VIOLENCE BECAUSE ONE OF THE
THINGS THAT YOU'LL SEE, THE
STORY'S IN THE BOOK, TWO YOUNG
PEOPLE WHO ARE MARRIED AND
THEY'RE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
THEIR LIFE AND THEY'RE HAVING A
BABY AND THERE'S SUCH PRESSURE
ON THEM TO FIND ENOUGH FOOD, TO
GET MONEY IN THE BLACK MARKET IN
THE CAMP, THOSE PRESSURES THEN
PLAY THEMSELVES WITHOUT WITHIN
THE MARRIAGE.

Steve says I'M CURIOUS AS TO
WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE CURRENT
SITUATION THE WORLD FINDS ITSELF
IN INSOFAR AS, THERE HAS BEEN
QUITE AN OUTPOURING IN A HANDFUL
OF COUNTRIES TO HELP THE
REFUGEES FROM SYRIA.
GERMANY, SWEDEN IN PARTICULAR,
HAVE RESPONDED QUITE
MAGNIFICENTLY, CANADA TO A
LESSER EXTENT BUT STILL
CERTAINLY SIGNIFICANTLY MORE
THAN THE UNITED KINGDOM OR THE
UNITED STATES FOR THAT MATTER.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THE RESIDENTS
OF DADAAB THINK ABOUT THIS
OVERWHELMING OPENING TO SYRIAN
REFUGEES BUT OF COURSE NOTHING
FOR THEM?

The caption changes to "What Syrians can learn from Somalis."

Ben says WELL, THEY
FOLLOW THE INTERNATIONAL
COMMUNITY VERY CLOSE, THEY WATCH
CABLE NEWS AND LISTEN TO THE
WORLD SERVICE AND SO ON.
THERE'S A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF
EMPATHY FOR THE SYRIANS WHO HAVE
GONE THROUGH THE SAME THING AS
THEM, BUT THEY CERTAINLY FEEL A
LITTLE BIT SHORT-CHANGED AND
FORGOTTEN THAT THE WORLD IS NOT
PAYING THE SAME ATTENTION TO
THEM AND IT HAS ACTUAL MATERIAL
CONSEQUENCES BECAUSE THE U.N.
HAS CUT RATIONS IN THE DADAAB
CAMP AND IN MANY OTHER CAMPS
BECAUSE OF A FUNDING CRISIS
BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE ENOUGH
RESOURCES TO DEAL WITH ALL OF
THE SYRIANS AS WELL.
PEOPLE ARE GOING HUNGRY BECAUSE
OF THE EVENTS IN SYRIA.

Steve says DO YOU FEEL THE
WORLD HAS BEEN SO GENEROUS TO
THE SYRIAN REFUGEES AND
CONTINUES TO TURN A BLIND EYE TO
THE LARGEST GROUP OF REFUGEES IN
ONE PLACE IN THE WORLD?

Ben says I THINK THE
FOCUS ON SYRIA IS A LARGE
FUNCTION OF THE FACT THAT THEY
ARE THE LARGEST NUMBER WHO HAVE
COME ACROSS THE MEDITERRANEAN
INTO EUROPE NOW.
THEY ARE ALSO, TO BE FAIR, THE
LARGEST POPULATION OF DISPLACED
PEOPLE.
THE U.N. RECENTLY CONFIRMED IT
REGISTERED 4.5 MILLION SYRIAN
REFUGEES.
SOMALIS ARE A BIT LOWER DOWN THE
TABLE.
THERE'S 1 MILLION REFUGEES
REGISTERED.
ALTHOUGH IT'S A BIGGER
POPULATION, IT'S MORE VISIBLE
BECAUSE THEY'RE THE ONES COMING
ONTO THE SHORES OF EUROPE.
BUT WHAT WE NEED TO REMEMBER IS
THAT IS A SYMPTOM OF THIS BIGGER
CRISIS, THAT THIS HAS BEEN A
SLOW BURN FOR MANY DECADES.
TEN YEARS AGO I WAS FOLLOWING
THIS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH
WHERE LARGE NUMBERS OF PEOPLE
WERE COMING ACROSS THE
MEDITERRANEAN INTO ITALY AND SO
ON.
THOSE NUMBERS HAVE NOT BEEN
GOING ON.
THEY'VE BEEN GRADUALLY SLOWLY
BUILDING.
THIS IS NOTHING NEW.
IT'S JUST THAT WE'RE LATELY
WAKING UP TO IT.

Steve says I'M NOT ALLEGING
ANYTHING HERE, I'M JUST ASKING.
BUT MANY OF THE PEOPLE THAT YOU
CHRONICLE IN YOUR BOOK ARE
BLACK.
THE SYRIAN REFUGEES ARE NOT.
AND I WONDER WHETHER YOU THINK
THAT'S PART OF THE STORY HERE.

Ben says I THINK
THAT'S PROBABLY GOT SOMETHING TO
DO WITH IT.
I THINK THE SYRIAN POPULATION IS
ALSO MIXED, SO THERE ARE
CHRISTIANS AS WELL AS MUSLIMS,
AND I THINK THAT COMPLICATES THE
PICTURE.
BUT, YOU KNOW, AS WE'VE SEEN
WITH THE REACTION TO THE ATTACKS
IN COLOGNE, IN GERMANY, THAT
RACISM IS VERY CLOSE TO THE
SURFACE AND ACTUALLY IT DOESN'T
TAKE VERY MUCH TO ACTIVATE IT.

Steve says DO THE PEOPLE IN
DADAAB THINK THAT THE SYRIANS,
WHILE THEY MAY SYMPATHIZE WITH
THEM, ARE IN SOME RESPECTS
QUEUE-JUMPERS BECAUSE AFTER ALL
PEOPLE IN DADAAB, SOME OF THEM
HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR 20 YEARS?

Ben says THERE'S AN
ELEMENT OF THAT.
THE STORY I MENTIONED OF MUNA
AND MONDAY, THEY WERE SUPPOSED
TO BE RESETTLED QUITE QUICKLY
BECAUSE THEY WERE AT RISK, THEIR
BABY WAS BEING HUNTED IN THE
CAMP, SO THEY WERE PUT ON THIS
FAST TRACK FOR RESETTLEMENT BUT
IT WAS GOING VERY, VERY SLOWLY.
AND WHAT THEY SAID TO ME, THE
WAY THEY UNDERSTOOD IT, NOW IS
THE TIME FOR SYRIA AND OUR TURN
WILL COME LATER.
SO THEY WERE VERY UNDERSTANDING,
THEY WERE VERY PATIENT.
THEY'VE HAD TO BE PATIENT.
THEY'VE HAD TO WAIT ALL THIS
TIME.
SO PART OF THE -- WHAT IT MEANS
TO LIVE IN DADAAB IS TO ACTUALLY
HAVE THIS KIND OF OPPRESSED
ATTITUDE AND TO FEEL QUITE
BEATEN DOWN AND TO HAVE VERY
LIMITED EXPECTATIONS.

Steve says HOW DO WE MAKE SURE
THAT THE TEMPORARY REFUGEE CAMPS
THAT HAVE BEEN SET UP FOR THE
SYRIAN REFUGEES DON'T BECOME
DADAAB 20 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD?

Ben says I THINK WHAT
WE'RE SEEING, THE SYRIANS ARE
QUITE SMART, THEY'RE LOOKING AT
DADAAB AND REALIZING THAT THE
CAMPS THAT ARE ON OFFER FOR THEM
ARE NOT A TEMPORARY SOLUTION,
THAT ACTUALLY THESE ARE PLACES
WHERE THEY'RE BEING ASKED TO GO
AND FESTER AND THEY'RE CHOOSING
NOT TO.
ZAATARI IS ONE CAMP WORKING
QUITE WELL.
THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHER CAMPS IN
JORDAN WHICH ARE EMPTY AND THE
SYRIANS ARE DECIDING TO TAKE THE
ILLEGAL ROUTE TO EUROPE BECAUSE
THE LEGAL ONE DOESN'T WORK.
AT THE END OF THE BOOK -- THIS
BOOK, FOR EXAMPLE, THERE'S A
YOUNG MAN WHO IS CONSIDERING
MAKING THE JOURNEY FROM DADAAB
TO EUROPE BECAUSE THE LEGAL
ROUTE DOESN'T WORK.
THERE ARE ONLY AROUND 1,000 TO
2,000 PEOPLE TAKEN FROM THE CAMP
EVERY YEAR TO BE RESETTLED IN
NORTH AMERICA OR EUROPE.
THE BIRTH RATE IS A THOUSAND A
MONTH.
FOR HIM HE'S LOOKING AT THOSE
NUMBERS AND SAYING THIS DOESN'T
ADD UP.
I'M GOING TO GO TO EUROPE AND HE
NEEDS TO RAISE 10,000 dollars TO MAKE
THAT ILLEGAL TRIP OVER LAND,
THROUGH THE SAHARA, UP TO ITALY.
HE KNOWS HE CAN DO IT IF HE GETS
THE CASH.

Steve says BEN, LET ME ASK YOU
ONE MORE QUESTION.
IN THAT CHAIR NOT TOO LONG AGO
WAS CANADA'S MINISTER OF
IMMIGRATION, REFUGEES, AND
CITIZENSHIP.
I ASKED HIM THIS QUESTION AND
I'D LIKE YOUR TAKE ON IT.
RICH WESTERN NATIONS, REGARDLESS
OF HOW WEALTHY THEY ARE, HAVE A
FINITE AMOUNT OF MONEY TO SPEND
ON THIS KIND OF THING.
I THINK THE MINISTER SAID CANADA
IS GOING TO SPEND 700 MILLION dollars
TO TRY TO RESETTLE THE SYRIAN
REFUGEES.
DO YOU GET A BETTER BANG FOR
YOUR BUCK USING THAT MONEY TO
GET PEOPLE OUT OF THOSE DANGER
ZONES AND INTO THE QUOTE,
UNQUOTE, NEW WORLD, OR IS IT
BETTER TO SPEND THAT MONEY
TRYING TO MAKE THE HOMES THEY
CAME FROM, THEIR ORIGINAL
COUNTRIES, SAFER PLACES TO LIVE
SO THAT THEY CAN STAY WHERE
THEY'VE ALWAYS LIVED THEIR LIVES?

Ben says WELL, I THINK
THE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM HAS TO
COPE WITH ALL OF THOSE
SITUATIONS.
WAGING -- YOU KNOW, IN SOME
CASES MAKING THOSE PLACES SAFE
MEANS MILITARY INTERVENTION
WHICH IS VERY EXPENSIVE AND
HIGHLY CONTENTIOUS AND I
WOULDN'T ADVOCATE THAT IN EVERY
CIRCUMSTANCE.
I THINK THERE ARE TWO POINTS
WORTH MENTIONING: ONE IS THAT
MAINTAINING REFUGEE CAMPS LIKE
THIS IS VERY EXPENSIVE AND IT'S
KIND OF DUMB BECAUSE THE
REFUGEES WANT TO WORK.
THEY WANT TO BE SELF-SUFFICIENT.
THERE'S NO POINT DENYING THEM
THE RIGHT TO WORK AND KEEPING
THEM IN THIS PLACE AND WE HAVING
TO PAY TO FEED THEM.
THE OTHER ASPECT IS THAT ALL OF
THE ECONOMIC RESEARCH THAT'S
BEEN DONE SHOWS REFUGEES ARE A
NET BENEFIT TO ANY ECONOMY.
SO IT'S KIND OF CRAZY TO ME TO
THINK THAT -- I DON'T REALLY
UNDERSTAND WHY EUROPEAN
COUNTRIES AREN'T ALL BEGGING TO
HAVE REFUGEES, AS GERMANY IS,
BECAUSE IT KNOWS THAT IF WE
SETTLED THESE PEOPLE IN AREAS OF
OUR COUNTRIES THAT ARE
DEPOPULATED, THEY'RE GOING TO BE
A NET BENEFIT TO OUR ECONOMY.
SO THIS WHOLE DEBATE IS DRIVEN
MUCH MORE BY FEAR THAN ACTUALLY
AN OBJECTIVE LOOK AT THE REALITY.

The caption changes to "Producer: Mark Brosens, @MArkBrosens"

Steve says UNDERSTOOD.
BEN, IT'S GOOD OF YOU TO COME IN
TONIGHT AND SHARE YOUR STORY
WITH US, “CITY OF THORNS, NINE
LIVES IN THE WORLD'S LARGEST
REFUGEE CAMP.”
BEN RAWLENCE, THANK YOU VERY
MUCH FOR VISITING US AT TVO
TONIGHT.

Ben says THANK YOU.

Watch: Ben Rawlence: The World's Largest Refugee Camp