Sunday, September 3, 2017


Amnesty International, UK, September 2, 2017

It has been two years since three-year-old Alan Kurdi’s body washed up on a beach in Turkey. He and his family from Syria, braved the treacherous seas in the hope of reaching Europe. 

Images of his lifeless corpse made headline news and brought the terrifying human cost of the global refugee crisis to Europe’s attention. But since then, governments have failed to act – and the deaths have continued to rise. 

This year alone, thousands have drowned or disappeared on their dangerous journey towards a safer life. EU leaders have the power to stop these deaths – by investing in protective sea patrols. 

Already this year, the stretch of sea between Libya and Italy has claimed the lives of 2,253 women, men and children. Together, I know we can change this because we have before.

Back in 2015, the risk of dying while attempting to cross the open Mediterranean Sea was as high as 1 in 16. The EU was turning a deaf ear to the fact that the sea was becoming a graveyard.

So we came together and demanded they act – and they did. The EU significantly increased search and rescue, and the death toll dropped dramatically. Thousands of lives were saved.  

But they have failed to keep it up and 2017 looks set to be the deadliest year yet. Please, let’s come together again. Because when we shout loudly, we have the power to save lives.