Inside Story

Migrants or refugees?

Thousands fleeing conflict in desperation have been undermined by language used by the media to describe their plight.

Macedonian police used tear gas to drive back refugees at the border. On Thursday, they declared a state of emergency, which means the army will be deployed to stop people transiting through the country.

Germany wants to see measures to stop new arrivals travelling unchecked through Europe.

The country is expecting a record 800,000 people to apply for asylum this year – that is more than the entire EU combined in 2014.

British and French authorities have announced a new “command and control centre” in Calais.

Five thousand people are living in makeshift camps, awaiting the chance to smuggle themselves into the UK.

Their journey to safety is even hindered by the language used to describe their experience.

Inside Story asks: Are they migrants or refugees?

Presenter: Mike Hanna


Gauri Van Gulik: Deputy director for Amnesty International in Europe and Central Asia.

Adrian Berry: Chair of the Immigration Practitioners’ Association.

Francois Gemenne: Research Fellow from the Centre for Ethnic and Migration Studies.