A cabinet-level appointment could take a world lead in preventing the deaths of more children fleeing war
No one forgets the photograph of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body was washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015. Within hours of going viral, it came to define the indifference of the world towards those terrorised into fleeing their homes – even to the point of risking death. The drowned little Syrian boy gave a face to statelessness, loss and fear. Ordinary people sat up, took heed, protested. In a matter of moments, a situation that had seemed tolerable became unacceptable. Campaigns were launched, reports commissioned, promises made to provide better help for those who made it to Europe’s shores.
Eighteen months later, much of that goodwill has not been matched by official action. Children like Alan are dying in the Mediterranean at the rate of two each day. In the UK, policies towards refugees and asylum seekers remain chaotic, and threaten to become more so as Brexit takes shape. Last month the UK all-party parliamentary group on refugees came out with a report on the protection we offer those who arrive. It makes dismal reading, but it also offers a way forward.
Link : Why Britain needs a refugees minister | Caroline Moorehead