The life of a refugee matters to all of us as human beings and global citizens. It is ironic that these Syrian refugees traveling by raft from Turkey arrive on Greek Isle of Lesvos, the main point of entry for refugees to Europe, where the Greek Nation historically had its own refugees following World War 2. (See Diplomat Artist: “We’ve All Been Refugees, as Old as War & Natural Disaster.”)
UNHCR Photo/Andrew McConnell
Peter Sutherland is the UN Secretary General’s special representative for International Migration. Following is his Interview: “Refugees are the Responsibility of the World … Proximity Doesn’t Define Responsibility. Peter Sutherland: “And it’s not merely Europe, incidentally, that has a responsibility to refugees. Under the 1951 [Refugee] Convention… refugees are the responsibility of the world. They’re the responsibility of the United States, of Canada, of Latin America and of Asia, as well as Europe. Proximity doesn’t define responsibility.”
Mr. Sutherland describes horrific jungle conditions at many of the refugee/migrant camps, including the one in Calais, France where sanitary conditions are deplorable. Sadly, people can be refugees in their own land living in camps like this Aborigine girl in Australia at the Hidden Valley Camp –
or Native Americans on reservations. (See Diplomat Artist: “Refugees – The Trail Continues of Lives Uprooted.”)
Ironically, many demographic problems can be solved WITH migrants who actually fill a void in economic systems where there is a population need to fill a workforce. These same people contribute to an economic need and enhance a culture with diversity. This is true in Europe, which holds 29% of all global wealth, but also the United States and Canada. We are all our Brother’s Keepers.
PHOTO tigrationline.com: Eritrea – Trafficking/smuggling
For more stories in the series see Diplomat Artist: “Refugees- Empathy & Action at Grassroots” and “Refugees, as Old as War & Natural Disaster – More Photos that Share a Story & Emotions.”