It is summer, and my children have frolicked and played. As a mother I have watched them laugh and be carefree – I have not had to consider fleeing a country at war, nor had to consider whether a perilous journey across the sea under the hand of traffickers to a unknown destination might actually cause mine and my children’s potential death. Yet this is the foremost thought in many of the transitioned people coming into Europe and a desperate decision that is being made by many parents.
The pictures in the media cannot fail to invoke outrage and sympathy, yet why has it taken a picture of a young child lying on a beach to invoke such feelings and what do these feelings translate into – action or mere commentary on social media? The transition of people has been occurring for years. We are aware of the traffickers who are exploiting peoples’ desperate plight for their financial gain and yet governments seem paralysed in reacting to this and people seem to be lethargic in wanting to see what is happening on their doorstep.
I am not a political analyst and cannot provide an answer to the resolution of the current humanitarian crisis but what is apparent is that trafficking of people has increased and there are numbers of children (as well as adults) across Europe who are vulnerable and are and will be exploited. Many commentators have looked back to history and are reflecting that the past is being repeated. Past events should be there to teach us where we went wrong and how we can learn from that and yet we seem to have to learnt nothing. It should not take the death of a young boy to make people look into their consciences and react – all people should have the dignity to live and yet this is being denied to many.
Some of the pictures below are those which have made me look into my conscience and push me to continue to speaking out against human exploitation and indignity.