The images of a dead child, head buried in the Turkish sand, were published across the world on Wednesday, giving a raw and troubling view into the migrant crisis that has been unfolding in Europe.
The child was discovered dead with 10 other refugees on the shores of the coastal town Bodrum.
Two inflatable vessels carrying what were believed to be around two dozen Syrian asylum seekers sank off the coast of Turkey in an attempt to reach the Greek island Kos, Turkey’s Dogan news agency reported.
The bodies washed up on shore, leaving at least 11 people dead — among whom were three children — and five missing. Six people are said to have survived the incident.
Sourced from: The picture that shocked Europe – POLITICO
As a father, I am unable to post the deeply upsetting image of the dead child on this site. The body is not stricken with trauma, nor does the child appear to have gone through any pain at death, yet such an image will be stuck in my mind for some time – if ever forgotten.
Whilst I will not show this image, European leaders should note it’s existence as evidence of the risks that people will take to leave their land and come to EU borders for refuge – regardless of their lives prior.
UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, said in a statement last night that Britain should not take any further refugees from the war-torn Middle East: “I don’t think there is an answer that can be achieved simply by taking more and more refugees.”; despite community groups being prepared to show that councils in the UK are willing to take thousands more.
Instead he stated that the way to truly alleviate the problem for refugees would be to ensure that peace prevails where the refugees are hailing from.
That is a very fine point from Mr Cameron, except that:
a. that does not take care of the case in hand where people are currently fleeing their war-torn homes in the middle east and require shelter now.
b. the UK doesn’t have the greatest track record when it comes to promoting peace in the middle east, usually trying to do so along-side it’s US friends – with bombs!
In a sign that the political temperature on the issue of Middle East Refugees was rising, Cameron faced calls to do more from both the Catholic church and two of the Labour leadership contenders, Yvette Cooper and Andy Burnham.
The UK Guardian Newspaper reports: Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic church in England and Wales, said: “This is a disgrace. That we are letting people die and seeing dead bodies on the beaches, when together, Europe is such a wealthy place. We should be able to fashion a short-term response, not just a long-term response.
“It is no longer an abstract problem of people on the scrounge. It’s not. It’s people who are desperate for the sake of their families, their elderly, their youngsters, their children. And the more we see that the more the opportunity for a political response that is a bit more generous, is growing. What is screaming out is the human tragedy of this problem, to which we can be more generous.”
Neil Jameson, executive director of Citizens UK, said: “We are delighted (Yvette) Cooper has made her intervention, but this should not be a party-political issue. We think civil society can show there is a generosity in the British people, and with the help of churches, mosques and synagogues we can identify empty property in which refugees can be housed. The housing must not be public-sector housing because that would not be politically tenable.”
Citizens UK had been lobbying the government for more than a year to take more people under an EU-funded scheme that allowed refugees to be taken from UN camps and to be housed in the UK for a year.
Not all Tories are however heartless; Conservative leader of Kingston upon Thames council, Kevin Davis, has already written to 50 Tory-led councils asking them to become involved in a scheme run by UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, to help find private housing for refugees for a year.