To be a migrant at Christmas…

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Migrant, refugee, economic migrant, climate change migrant and violent conflict migrant, all hold equal status: the imperious need to flee from their homes on an involuntary basis (according to UN 1 of 122 humans). However, they face a weakened international community that responds slowly and with no coordination with an imposed sense of solidarity.

Christmas time, often portrayed through the whole family around the tree in front of a fireplace, is transformed into a nightmarish stage of hunger, cold and threat.

Only the action of individuals and reluctant governments provides migrants some relief to this desperate situation. Yes, the future is dramatic, with more than 60 million displaced people according to U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees report, including those who fled domestically as well as international refugees and asylum-seekers.

 Despite efforts from governments and individuals all over the world, the aid is never enough and entire families with children walking during months become the “new normal”. Escaping from danger they enter in other dangers. Children traumatized by abandoning their homes, parents exhausted with no idea of what is awaiting, and only the courage and hope for a better & safer future makes them move forward.

 As the picture shows, Hungarian police on the Serbian border has committed brutal attacks against refugees including spraying kids and burning their eyes. An outrageous mistreatment to humans that are not enemies in a war, but victims of a war; escaping of inhuman conditions, paradoxically begging for what they deserve because of human international rights. Indeed it’s totally legitimate that they demand protection and it is their right to be safe as well as the duty of countries to host them by the imperative of international law.

Far for being resolved this migration + humanitarian aid global crisis will get worse in the near future: new conflicts, new financial crises and new types of migrants like climate change migrants, forced to flee their countries for the catastrophic reasons that the landscape changes completely and/or their means of production disappeared. To shatter the argumentation that since Biblical Exodus “have always been migrations”; we could definitely conclude that this phenomenon has reached numbers as never before and is increasing in size and nature at a rapid pace. In addition, the magnitude of the threat that people are living acquires new shapes.

 The fissures of global institutions and the lack of a coherent implementation of mechanisms that regulate these flows arise with more strength than ever. The requirement for a global institutional responsibility takes force because it is possible to forecast and even mitigate these flows: for climate change migrants by proper adaptation policies, for economic migrants by boosting safe national economic-financial systems and on armed conflicts migrants by the implementation of effective peace processes that prevent and reduce the impact of those crises.

 In the meantime to get to a real structural reform that could address effectively this crisis from a global perspective, only a courageous individual attitude from migrants and solidarity from host countries could bring some relief to these adults & children that travel in complete loneliness carrying the heavy burden of uncertainty & fear.

 As a refugee mother with children said: “If I cry in this Jungle, will anyone help me? No. I am in the Jungle, so I have to try and smile”[1].

 

 

Picture: Brutal attack of Hungarian police on the Serbian border to a migrant father and his son.

 

[1] http://bit.ly/1TVEAht

 

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