American entrepreneur Jason Buzi received some media attention last year with his quite radical idea to give refugees a state of their own, Refugia.
By Laurens Peek

According to Jason Buzi there are many places on Earth where there would be space for such a state. He takes Indonesia and the Philippines as an example: these countries have thousands of uninhabited islands in their territory often available for sale. Another option would be that a country such as Finland, rich with natural resources but with a sparse population, would carve off an area where few people live.

A third option for the location of Refugia would be that a sparsely populated country would allow itself to be taken over by Refugia, with the approval of its population. This would circumvent the creation of a nation and the United Nations recognition would not be required.

The recurring motivation for these options is goodwill, according to Buzi. A country or a people that is willing to do the necessary things for the creation of Refugia will be forever in debt with the world, Buzi thinks.

Citizenship for all refugees?

The idea of Buzi is farfetched, and the implications it would have are unimaginable or at least woud raise many questions. Automatic citizenship for ‘all refugees and internally displaced people.’ On what basis is this citizenship granted? How could a state like this find out exactly the history of all its new citizens? What enormous bureaucratic machine would ensure the safety of the inhabitants?

At the same time the plan is an interesting thought experiment, illustrating a great spirit of idealism, utopianism, globalization and a general thought of progression.

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