The images of a 3-year old toddler’s lifeless body washed up ashore a Turkish beach lying face down in the surf, have sparked international outrage over the human tragedy related to refugee crisis.
Another image of a policeman carrying the dead boy was also released by the Turkish news agency with both the pictures going viral on social media. The boy in red T-shirt and shorts was identified as Aylan Kurdi, a Syrian Kurd hailing from Kobani, a town near the Turkish border that had witnessed months of severe fighting between the Islamic State militants and the Syrian Kurdish forces. The boy’s family fleeing persecution was desperately trying to enter Europe to the relatives in Canada; but the authorities had rejected their asylum application. Aylan’s family was one among the 12 Syrians who drowned after two boats carrying 23 people capsized after setting off separately from the Akyarlar area of the Bodrum peninsula trying to reach the Greek island of Kos. Among the dead were five children and one woman. His five year old brother and mother also met with the same fate. The heartbreaking images reflect the present predicament of the refugees who flee persecution in their home country in search of better lives abroad. It clearly underlines the extreme conditions the migrants endure to reach the west. Thousands of migrants have been trying to reach Europe by sea with many losing their lives in desperate attempts to reach their destination. Syrians fleeing war have come to Turkey’s Aegean coast to board the ‘not-sea-worthy’ boats to Greece, their gateway to the European Union. UK newspaper The Independent used the images on its website as a stark reminder of the ‘ongoing migrant crisis’ questioning the temperament of Europe in accepting the refugees. Despite the reaction to the image online, there has been little reaction from European leaders.
The problems faced by the migrants lead to a rare crisis in Western Asia and Europe. Internal conflicts and war have destroyed countries like Syria, Libya, Iraq and also the North African nations. Majority of them flee to Europe, particularly countries like Germany, France and England, dreaming of a better future there due to the economic stability and peaceful ambience. These hapless migrants in an attempt to reach the destination lose their lives drowning or are suffocated to death in the trucks carrying them. France and England have made clear that they wouldn’t be able to receive any more refugees. British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that ‘Britain would not be taking any more refugees’. Even though the various political and religious groups have come forward accusing him of ‘heartlessness’, he asserted that the crisis should be resolved in Western Asia itself. German chancellor Angela Merkel is facing the ire of Right wing extremists for expressing her willingness to accept the migrants up to 8 lakhs. Hungary-Austrian border is also in turmoil due to the refugee crisis. The unwillingness o f the nations to accept the refugees are akin to neglecting the humanity during severe humanitarian crisis. It reveals their helplessness. The United Nations Agency for refugees stated that around 2, 05,000 Europe-bound refugees are present in Greece the majority of them being Syrians, Iraqis, Somalis and Afghans. The European Union group meeting has been called on September 24 to discuss the humanitarian crisis. But expecting an immediate and permanent solution would be foolishness. Whether the heartrending sight of the toddler would bring about any change in the conscience of the world nations is yet to be seen.
West Asia today is under the control of the ‘international community’. The forces despite warnings had invaded Syria, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan targeting the innocent civilians. The Western powers that backed these forces stood silent and helpless during the war that destroyed the countries and claimed thousands of lives. Syria and Libya have been literally wiped out from the face of the earth. Around 3 lakh people have been killed in Syria so far turning 1crore civilians into refugees who seek asylum at present. The world is currently witnessing the gravest refugee crisis since World War II. The refugees who flee their homeland are turned down by the heartless and non-sympathizing nations and are forced to trudge wrong paths eventually ending up losing their lives at sea or in trucks. The European Union should come together and streamline the forces to chart out plans and tackle the refugee crisis. The world can’t turn its back on these heartrending tragedies. It’s high time we regain our conscience and make efforts to carve out a solution as soon as possible to put an end to the crisis.