I have seen recently a video of Benedict Cumberbatch, the famous British actor on Facebook talking about the refugee crisis, asking for people to reach out to them. He said no one puts children on a boat unless the water is safer than the land.
I adore what Benedict said. As a refugee I did not come to the UK in a boat. I cannot imagine floating on the cold water in the middle of the dark hoping to find a safe land. But I ask myself so often why would somebody want to leave their home? Why is the world so messed up? What do we need to do to stop the world becoming unsafe for all?
According to Amnesty 280,000 refugees and migrants entered the EU in 2014, and more than 819,218 have arrived by sea so far this year. Thousands of them are getting trapped along Fortress Europe’s fences, forced to walk for weeks and months, sleeping outside in the cold.*
We as individuals can help these people by donating money or getting involved voluntarily. But what can governments do? So far Germany has taken most responsibility by taking 800,000 asylum seekers this year. The UK has been more reticent. Since the Paris attacks, every country is worried about their security. While the war continues in Iraq and Syria, and with ISIS is becoming more active in Afghanistan, there look set to be more displaced people seeking refuge in the near future.
So what should be done? what governments specially great powers can do to stop this bloodshed in the Middle East?
Maybe they should sell fewer weapons. Maybe they should refrain from toppling dictators. More humane policies now are needed. It is time for us to stand up against whatever makes the world unsafe for us. Otherwise we will soon all find ourselves on leaking boats. Everybody needs a home. Nobody should come to the point where they prefer a boat to land.
watch the video here