The Guardian view on child refugees: an appeal to give what you can
assan was 14 when he fled Damascus on his own to join family in western Europe. He has made it safely to Athens. Like many of the young refugees, what he most wants is the chance of an education and a future. But now he is stuck, and he has been for weeks. One of the toughest things these young lone refugees must face is uncertainty. Hassan (not his real name) has just learned that he will be going nowhere for at least another four months; his first interview with the authorities who must process his application to get to his family in Berlin will not happen before April. But at least he is no longer eking out a perilous existence on the city streets, trying to avoid the pimps, the people smugglers and the drug dealers that prey on refugee children travelling alone. Help Refugees, one of the three charities the Guardian and Observer are supporting this Christmas, cannot help his battle with bureaucracy. But it has rescued Hassan from the street, and it’s paying for his accommodation; with 63,000 refugees in Greece overwhelming state services, it’s all down to charities like Help Refugees.
Last year’s Guardian and Observer appeal, which raised an extraordinary and unprecedented £2.6m for refugee charities, was made against the backdrop of a crisis that was self-evidently one of the great humanitarian disasters of our time. It was clear then that it was unlikely to be over within the year. But not only are hundreds of thousands of people still fleeing war and hunger; the savage turmoil in Syria remains the biggest driver of the crisis. Readers are responding even more generously than last year, partly in angry riposte to the mean and laggardly response of the British government to those who want to join family in the UK.
Sep 21, 2020he persecution, ethnic cleansing, and attempted genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar’s Rakhine state is an affront to the rule of law, a well-documented atrocity and, according to a top international lawyer, a moral stain on “our collective conscience and humanity”. So why are the killings and other horrors continuing while known perpetrators go unpunished? It’s a […]
Sep 01, 2020