Refugees at your doorstep

The world is facing a grim reality today. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing abject persecution, war, and famine in search of a better life; a basic human right entitled to every individual. But in our world, there is a price these people have to pay for something that is their right.

People from Asia and Africa are squeezed into dinghies and boats, that can barely accommodate 50 people, by smugglers in order to cross the treacherous oceans where they must continue their journey on foot for hundreds of kilometers to cross borders. And if lucky, they will reach their destination. But, what if luck doesn’t work out? In that case, these men, women, and children risk losing their lives on this perilous journey or being stranded on the borders of countries, counting the days when the neighbouring nation opens its borders for them to enter. How long will this wait be? No one knows.

Refugees from Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, to name a few, are arriving on the shores of Europe in hundreds of thousands. This indicates the largest refugee crisis Europe has seen since World War II. The journey across the Mediterranean has already claimed the lives of over 3,000 people so far, which is more than the total number counted in 2014. However, this crisis is not only limited to European shores. What has not been highlighted as much on the mainstream media is that many are also crossing the Indian Ocean to make it to Thailand and Malaysia, such as the Bangladeshis, Rohingyas of Myanmar (the largest persecuted stateless minority in the world), who risk their lives for a more promising future. Being a Bangladeshi myself and having read about this in our local newspapers made me realize the gravity of this refugee crisis, how agonizing the experience is for these people and how more awareness needs to be raised.

Many countries such as Germany have embraced these refugees with promises to help them build a new life on their land. It is such leadership which defines humanity, gives the world hope that in the coming days these refugees will find a new home and not be left alone, stranded in the sea or on borders. The world needs to hear the voices of these people and help them tackle the threats that compel them to become refugees. But the questions remain-when will this crisis end? How feasible is the resettlement and integration of refugees in their new homes?

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