According to a new global 28-market survey by Ipsos to mark the World Refugee Day on June 20th, 2021, among 19,501 global adults, at least 2 in 3 Urban Indians (66%) endorse providing refuge to those who are victims of war or persecution; at the same time over 2 in 3 (69%), strongly emphasize closing of borders for refugees, stating inability of accommodating more in the country.
Amit Adarkar, CEO, Ipsos India, said, “It is a paradox. While Urban Indians want to help those affected by war and persecution, at the same time more refugees are a burden on the limited resources, in a highly populous country like India, where the majority are already steeped in poverty. And more influx of refugees would mean increased burden on already stretched systems.
“Seeking asylum is one thing, but en masse refugees are a lot to deal with. The concern stems from facial features and looks of refugees next to border towns being similar to Indians, enabling them to merge easily with the locals and then it is not easy to find them and send them back,”Adarkar added.
Interestingly, providing refuge to those impacted by war is strongly endorsed by global citizens as well (70%) and the other top markets who believe in supporting include Argentina (79%), Italy (79%), Brazil (78%) and Netherlands (78%).
And global citizens are polarized in their views about allowing more refugees in their country (50% agree; 43% disagree). Malaysia (82%) and Turkey (75%) are as wary as India of allowing more refugees into their country.
Why are more refugees not welcome?
7 in 10 Indians (72%) believe that most foreigners who want to enter the country on the pretext of being refugees are largely those seeking economic benefits or want to partake of our welfare schemes. Similar viewed is echoed by Turkey (81%), Malaysia (76%), Russia (75%) and Peru (73%). More number of global citizens (62%) too, believe the same.
Further, 68% of urban Indians also feel the refugees will easily integrate in the society. 3 in 4 in Saudi Arabians (76%) too, echo similar views. While views of global citizens were polarized.
Refugees & Pandemic
During the time of coronavirus, almost 1 in 4 (23%) urban Indians believe we should be more open to accepting more refugees. And 27% urban Indians believe we should allocate more funds for refugees during the pandemic.
“To provide health benefits and provisions during the pandemic to refugees, would need more allocation by the govt,” Adarkar adds.