In Europe today a debate rages about asylum: some paint a picture of a system paralyzed by fraud, others of an inhumane machine sending vulnerable people back home to face persecution. Refugees are seen as a problem of the developing word. But the system that is today the object of debate was born out of European displacements after World War I and World War II. This piece explores the origins of the international refugee system.
This piece was produced for Radio Netherland's Euroquest and aired on October 25, 2005, on WFUV on June 3, 2006, and on RFI on August 18, 2008. A shorter version aired on November 15, 2005, on Prime Time Postscript.