Wake up Europe! More Deaths a-la Kurdi Likely, Says UNICEF

syrian refugees

On 26 August 2015, a distressed child rests over the shoulder of the man carrying him, in the town of Gevgelija, on the border with Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Photo: UNICEF/Tomislav Georgiev

Finally, the images of 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi found dead with his head down on the seashore has woken up the erstwhile empire of humanity how realistic their anti-refugee policies are.

The vivid images of Kurdi ricocheted around the world on social media, along with equally painful images of children lying suffocated in the backs of trucks crossing borders and being passed over barbed wire fences by desperate parents.

The Syrian conflict which broke out in 2011 has forced 4 million people, mostly women and children like Kurdi to seek shelter as refugees in Europe, whose doors were forever shut for them since decades.

So far, merely 5,000 Syrians have been granted asylum that too in France, Germany and Sweden, while the United Kingdom, an apostle of human dignity was the least to give 216 of them asylum, let alone citizenship.

After the cruel images of Kurdi’s body on Turkish shore shook the world, British Prime Minister David Cameron was among those who felt guilty and assured to draw up a plan the next day but it was already too late as bureaucrats were cautious to add that “more refugees means Syrians who are already in Europe will make the crisis worse and encourge more chaos.”

There stands the barrier, a mental block than humanitarian face of Europe, whose age-old colonial mindset transcends for few more generations before the real feeling of a global citizen takes over.

“We do care,” Cameron said. “There isn’t a solution that’s simply about taking people, it’s got to be a comprehensive solution”, he quickly added.

Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), meanwhile made another powerful plea for action to protect migrant and refugee children. “It is not enough for the world to be shocked by these images. Shock must be matched by action,” he said.

UNICEF estimates that one-fourth of of refuge seekers in Europe are children, many of whom have fled the conflict in Syria, about 2,500 of them already killed while attempting to cross in to the Europe.

“Only an end to these conflicts can bring an end to the misery of so many,” he said.

However, if Syrians are looking at Europe for succour, they are miserably misguided. More than four million Syrians have fled the country due to war and the UN has been at its highest pitch for the last three years for world attention, with nobody paying attention to the neighbourhood problem.

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