Building walls to keep people out: is it ever right?

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Throughout history, many walls have been built with the purpose of keeping people out, for example The Great Wall of China, Hadrian’s Wall and more recently Greece’s border fence.

Talking about these walls got us thinking: is it ever right to build a wall to keep people out of a country?

We thought about the Peace Walls that were built out of stone and steel in various areas of Northern Ireland to keep Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland separate (in effect, to keep people from killing each other during the period known as The Troubles). They were built to protect neighbourhoods and restore some sense of peace and, although they are no longer necessary as the killing has stopped, they still remain and have even become tourist attractions for visitors to sign! If these walls had never been built, many more people would have died, so of course the outcome was a positive one. However, we’re still not convinced that it is morally right to separate people, regardless of the reason behind it. This process of building walls to separate countries can lead to discrimination and division of communities, when what we should really be doing is bringing people closer together to solve our issues.

The Hungarian Border Barriers have been built to stop refugees entering the country. We can understand some of the reasoning behind this wall: the number of illegal enteries into Hungary was rapidly increasing, which would not have been good for the country. Some European leaders have argued that barriers are necessary to protect their countries from criminals and would-be terrorists among them, with Viktor Orban, Hungary's prime minister, even going so far as to say that “Every single migrant poses a public security and terror risk."

However, there are also moral issues that come along with this. Those seeking asylum in Hungary now can only do so in two border zones, and under a recent law migrants have been detained and held in shipping containers. The Hungarian government has been accused of depriving asylum seekers of food and medical services at the Kiskunhalas camp, with local residents having to step in to provide supplies. This is horrible and simply not right! Shouldn't we want to help those who are suffering rather than making things harder for them??

What do you think? Can you think of any examples where it was right for a wall to be built? Or do they always have negative effects on the communities they are built to separate?

Comments (52)

  • Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
    07 May 2019

    Well done for working together to write this post. You have clearly researched, read and discussed a range of different examples which have helped to develop your opinions. I look forward to seeing how other people respond to the questions you have posed!

  • IIS.PNG versatile_moon | Napoleone Colajanni
    10 May 2019

    Hi!
    I really enjoyed your article.
    I think the Peace Walls were made for a good social and moral cause, for the protection of the country
    but the rest of the walls are only the fruit of human selfishness.
    Who runs away from their country for a better future.
    It is morally wrong to close borders and deprive these people of help.
    Excessive migration of a people can often seem like a problem, but with the right reception methods everything can be solved.
    Is immigration considered a problem in the country where you live? Is racism a widespread phenomenon? And what do you think?

    1. Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ Topical Talk
      versatile_moon's comment 10 May 2019

      Some thoughtful points here!

      I'm interested in your claim "It is morally wrong to close borders and deprive these people of help."

      Can you imagine a scenario where lots of people are entering another country which is very poor and has lots of issue themselves. Is it moral to keep borders open if this could put more of a strain on resources for these people?

      1. IIS.PNG versatile_moon | Napoleone Colajanni
        Tiff @ Topical Talk's comment 13 May 2019

        Man has always had a survival instinct for which he has rejected any form of danger, be it human or animal, however if you manage to administer a fair distribution in different countries, these people who run away for different reasons, poverty and the pre-existing problems in one of these countries are obstacles that can be overcome.
        Therefore it is not right to deprive a man like us of his help but with far worse possibilities of life.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg outstanding_flower | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    I believe that there are other ways for trump to stop imagrants and drugs coming from mexico

    1. Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ Topical Talk
      outstanding_flower's comment 10 May 2019

      What suggestions do you have?

      1. Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg outstanding_flower | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
        Tiff @ Topical Talk's comment 10 May 2019

        A suggestion for me is make better checks at airports because inicent people cant see their family and if people get through the wall people could still smuggle imagrants into vans and trucks

      1. Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ Topical Talk
        outstanding_flower's comment 13 May 2019

        Can you explain why?

    2. Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg enlightened_construction | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
      outstanding_flower's comment 10 May 2019

      I dont agree because if Trump can find a lot of other ways to stop drug dealers or other people then i dont agree

    3. Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg tidy_drawing | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
      outstanding_flower's comment 17 May 2019

      there are more ways for trump to keep out drugs

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg storytelling_piccolo | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    The walls before have nearly always had a negative effect. This will just divide the two countries more and cause arguments.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg introspective_bird | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    I agree because who knows what will happen with no wall because no one will be able to climb the wall so every thing is safe

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg eager_ostrich | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    Hi!

    It could be right to but boarders up however it also cant be right.
    It could be right to stop people coming in from other places however it also is'nt right because its spliting familys up.

    1. Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg lucky_location | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
      eager_ostrich's comment 17 May 2019

      true its spliting up familys so if there were kids in USA the rest would be over the wall but donald trumps issue is mexicans bringing over drugs to his country

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg terrific_lobster | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    it is not right because we are all the same and all da same abilities

    1. Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg enlightened_construction | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
      terrific_lobster's comment 10 May 2019

      I partley agree and dont agree i do because ye we al have the same abbilites but no because some people might be better than other people at other things.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg zestful_contribution | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    I belive that it is good because the mexicons bring drug into his city.

    1. Tiff-Avatar.jpg Tiff @ Topical Talk
      zestful_contribution's comment 10 May 2019

      IS there evidence for this?

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg storytelling_piccolo | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    The Berlin wall also the Hungarian border barrier.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg memorable_armadillo | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    I 100% think that walls never help keep people out it creates chaos and could split the country which could lead to many more situations

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg creative_fly | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    Hi
    kind of because it could stop people coming into other countries

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg memorable_armadillo | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    Hi !

    it can lead to other things such as wars and attaks

    1. Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg lucky_location | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
      memorable_armadillo's comment 17 May 2019

      yep cause if the mexicons were mad it could lead to war of USA and mexicans and the wall would be pretty usefull for attacking and it would take the mexicans longer to get in since the wall is made from solid bricks

      1. Olivia-Avatar.jpg Olivia @ Topical Talk
        lucky_location's comment 17 May 2019

        You use a key word here - 'if'. Remember that we should always make sure that we are not jumping to conclusions.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg approachable_blackberry | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    10 May 2019

    I think it's right but at the same time it isn't, because it's just a waste of money by building a wall and separating countries from each other but it can stop the Mexicans from bringing illegal items through.

  • swedish school.JPG hopeful_starfish | Skellefteå
    12 May 2019

    The wall just gives us a very negative effect. The wall just divides two different countries and people. And this will cause many arguments. Trump can come with other ideas if hee dont want any things to be smuggled in his own country. I think we should have X-rays or something to check if someone smuggle in drugs etc. IF he doesnt want imigrants he can come up up with an another idea than to build a huge wall that make two countries enemys.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg shining_seahorse | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    13 May 2019

    I do agree with you but i think this would cause quite big arguments.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg earnest_wolf | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    13 May 2019

    I don't thin walls will keep people out 100%. For example a small garden wall that is 10 inches tall will only keep children from the age of 0-5

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg open_seal | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    13 May 2019

    I personally agree and disagree with Donald Trump's wall.

    I agree because drugs, guns and many more life threatening items can be brought into America.

    I disagree because you can buy guns and gun licenses in America so there isn't a difference.

    1. Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg tidy_drawing | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
      open_seal's comment 17 May 2019

      I agree with you because people can die evrey day

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg digital_mouse | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    13 May 2019

    Donald Trump's wall isn't fair because it could separate families living in the two different states. This problem can not always be solved for some people live in Mexico because they are poor and can not afford to live in a rich place such as the USA. In addition to this, Donald trump's wall is negative because it is a waste of money and he is currently trying to pay for the wall using taxes. This is unfair because those who do not want Trump to build a wall still have to pay a certain amount of money or else they could be arrested.

    Despite all of the negative reasons, Trump's wall can be positive. For example, if any Mexicans enter the US, Trump would have to risk the chance of any dangerous ,illegal weapons being let into his country.

    My point is that not all walls are built for negative reasons and will all have a positive side to them.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg engaging_lemon | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    13 May 2019

    Are you sure, if there was no wall dividing America and Mexico, lots of people would have been killed. If you think about it Trump made the wall to stop Mexicans entering with drugs.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg caring_cricket | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    13 May 2019

    To keep people, that are not doing illegal things, away from a country is not right and to keep people away from their family just because off a wall is even worse. However, if you keep people out because they are selling drugs is right and to keep people away because they are doing illegal thing is relaetable.

  • swedish school.JPG hopeful_starfish | Skellefteå
    15 May 2019

    I think its other ways to stop illegally smuggling in drugs, and from imigrants coming in the USA. The money Trump is going to spend on can save people lifes. The moeny can go to charity, to homeless, to hospitals. You can use the useless walls money to other better things that is really necessarily!

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg incomparable_orange | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    no because you are stopping people from visiting

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg patient_wilddog | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    Hi

    I do not think it is right to build a wall to stop people getting in to the city

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg introspective_bird | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    Hi


    i think that you should have a wall because of if people fight that is bad and it is not fair

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg approachable_blackberry | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    For Trump's wall, I think it is good but at the same time, it isn't because people who want to visit Mexico (Who is from US or Canada) can not because there is no entrance to Mexico but it is good because it can stop Mexicans from bringing really illegal drugs into North America.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg terrific_lobster | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    It is kind of good and kind of bad. First, it stops migrants from getting though to different countries fleeing from war. It's their fault that they live there. Secondly, It keeps the people from Iraq, Syria and other places coming in. The bad things are that it could possibly split up family and friends. That would be disastrous. The next thing is that it could stop people from trading. BYE

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg memorable_armadillo | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    Hi

    I think there are many more ways to keep people out he's totally wasting money where he could clearly use it for a more important cause like charities!

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg outstanding_flower | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    I think this should not happen because it is a huge waste of money when you dont need it and there are other ways to stop drugs and guns
    it is also stupid because all the things mexicans people bring in. even though america already have tose in there countrie

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg memorable_armadillo | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    you can also use it for a convenient cause like hospitals

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg plucky_tsunami | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    I think Trump can find other ways to stop people coming in to his country, there are loads of ideas that he can try.

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg benevolent_ostrich | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    i agree its stopping people from going to there original school and seperating families and friends

  • Morley-Newlands-logo-250x250.jpg broadminded_honeydew | Morley Newlands Academy | United Kingdom
    17 May 2019

    There is always a way to do something so why spend billions of dollars on a pointless wall when the drug industry is lower now any way?

  • Ormiston-Rivers-logo-250x250.jpg gregarious_effort | Ormiston Rivers Academy
    17 May 2019

    I don't believe that all walls are good. For example, the Berlin Wall split up families for over sixty years. We all have the right to freedom of movement, but I do understand that for some countries the amount of people entering is overwhelming. Overall, though, I still believe that we shouldn't turn away people in need. How would you feel if someone turned you and your family away in your time of need?

  • Graveney-logo-250x250.jpg beloved_chocolate | Graveney School | United Kingdom
    22 May 2019

    I think that some walls are good, and some are bad. Good walls can include the ones such as in our houses, which help to ensure privacy and safety of belongings, and walls in places such as banks, to keep money safe, and prisons, to keep potentially dangerous people away from society. However, I think that walls can often have a very negative impact on not only communities of people, but animals too. In the example of Trump's border wall, this is going to have a very negative effect on the wildlife of this area. Many parts of the wall are build along a river. This alone is bad for the wildlife as it can cut off many land animals on one side from the water supply, potentially dehydrating them. The wall may also cut off land animals from their natural habitats, because they may move around a lot. An example of this is animals which migrate between the north and south of North America. The wall will cut them off from their annual migration trails, which is disrupting their lifestyle and route which they have taken for centuries. This could potentially put the species in jeopardy as them may not be able to reach places to feed, or breeding ground, which could prevent the continuation of the animals. Overall, I think the Trump's wall is not a good idea, as it could affect land animals very negatively. However, some walls can be good for wildlife, such as walls in conservation centres. There are many conservation centres all over the world which have walls which keep young and vulnerable animals out of danger of predators, weather and other potentially dangerous entities. Overall, I think that many walls can be good for animals, however many ones, especially border walls, can have an extremely negative impact on wildlife and people alike.

  • Lyons Hall Primary School placid_earth | Lyons Hall Primary School B
    10 Dec 2019

    I disagree with tump very much he shouldn’t split something that is a free country I could compare this to the Hong Kong Crisis at the minister with China and Hong Kong!

  • Brompton Westbrook logo lovely_hippopotamus | Brompton Westbrook Primary School
    23 Mar 2020

    I think that it is not right as this world is home to everyone living in it and I think you should be allowed to go anywhere in this world as it is YOUR home. You can not just be allowed in some parts of your home it is like being allowed in your living room put not your bedroom!

  • global-conversation.png sincere_walrus | Achimota Basic School | Ghana
    08 May 2020

    i think it is right to build walls to prevent people from going in and out because, this will help protect those people from any attack from their enemies

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