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Alexander Betts, director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, explores ways societies might empower refugees rather than pushing them to the margins.

A million refugees arrived in Europe this year, says Alexander Betts, and "our response, frankly, has been pathetic." Betts studies forced migration, the impossible choice for families between the camps, urban poverty and dangerous illegal journeys to safety. In this insightful talk, he offers four ways to change the way we treat refugees, so they can make an immediate contribution to their new homes. "There's nothing inevitable about refugees being a cost," Betts says. "They're human beings with skills, talents, aspirations, with the ability to make contributions — if we let them."

Find out more about TED, a non-profit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks  (opens new window)