Monday

Charity of the Month // Amnesty International

Immigration. Everyone has an opinion on it and it's very easy to see migrants like, as David Cameron so sensitively put it, a swarm of figures. But how many of us stop to think about each one of those figures as a person, a human, somebody who is just like us? It seems every week there is another report of somebody dying on their way to the UK: hundreds drowning in the Mediterranean, hit by trucks in the Channel Tunnel, falling out of planes. Think about it: These people, who are just like us bar the country of their birth, are literally dying rather than stay in their home nations. Can you even imagine how horrendous your life would have to be for the risk of falling out of a plane to be a better prospect?
Yellow logo of Amnesty International
The thing is: We can't. Those of us who have been born and bred in the UK cannot possibly imagine what their lives must be like. We are so incredibly lucky to live here, where we are safe from war and natural disasters, where we have free healthcare, where we have freedom of speech and will. I seem to be a dwindling minority but, by God, I'm happy to share that with people who need it. 

Of course, the saddest thing is how many people fleeing their homes are children. Nobody gets to choose where they are born and it's a sad fact that a huge proportion of the population willl be born into poverty, war and disaster zones. Last year, 2900 people drowned in the Mediterranean on their way over to Europe and in April, it was reported that 1700 people had drowned in 2015 so far. Of those, hundreds have been children (this article suggests that number could be up to a fifth). Around half of these are from Syria and the Horn of Africa.
Yellow Amnesty International campaign banner
Amnesty International is working doggedly to improve the lives of migrants and refugees. Among their campaigns are calls to rescue those who are dying in the Mediterranean, secure a fair asylum system and resettle vulnerable Syrian refugees. Amnesty run a series of campaigns that rely on volunteers, so joining a group will help you get involved with these. Of course you can also donate or take part in a sponsored event.

If you care about human rights, get involved. The simplest ways to take action include signing online petitions and sending emails. There is no excuse to keep your eyes closed and stay blind to the plight of others. These aren't just swarms invading our shores. They're people, and they need our help. 


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5 comments :

  1. Amnesty do great work. I completely agree about migration, in "the west" our way of life is as good as it is because we used to own "the third world" - just because we don't anymore doesn't mean we don't owe a debt to the people there to help them have a chance if they want to take it. (off my soapbox now)

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  2. I love it when bloggers use their voice for important causes and this article really moved me. It shocks me how callous and uncaring people can be just because they happened to born in different circumstances, because ultimately it comes down to luck that we're not fleeing from war zones and risking everything for a better life. Thank you for sharing such an important cause.

    Liza x

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  3. This is definitely something that has hit home for me since moving to the UK. Obviously the way Canada is positioned, you don't get people really trying to enter it in such a dramatic and dangerous way. The first time I heard of someone falling to their death over London when stowing away in the landing gear of a plane I was shocked... then I read on to find it wasn't exactly a one time occurrence and I don't even know what I thought, because it was so unfathomable to me. As a very fortunate "expat" (you know, the fancy term for a white English speaking immigrant because racism) I definitely try to stay conscious about these kinds of things because it's easy to feel attacked when people discuss immigration negatively but at the end of the day it's not ABOUT me, it's about "them" and I suppose if it comes down to having people talking shit about immigrants and people from war torn countries finding safety, I would choose their lives over my reputation ANY day.

    Aisling | aisybee.

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  4. I really admire you for speaking out about this. I totally share your views, and I've been shocked by the language used by the media and politicians to stoke fear over immigration in recent weeks, rather than thinking of the human lives behind the statistics. We should reach out to help, rather than closing our eyes and ears to others' suffering. xx

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  5. It's so good to hear somebody else thinking of immigrants as people, and not just a swarm of scroungers and criminals. It feels like everywhere I turn, somebody is being downright heartless and even racist towards immigrants at the moment, and that "us and them" attitude upsets me. I've tried to reason with a few people recently that if the tables were turned, we would probably be doing the exact same thing. At the end of the day, we're all people. and no matter where we're from, we all deserve a safe and decent life. At least, that's what I believe, anyway. Well done for raising awareness with this post!

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