Jane Dodds

International Migrants Day 2020

Today, on International Migrants Day 2020, it's important we remember just how lucky we are and commit to doing more to support those in need.

By Jane Dodds, Dec 18, 2020 1:12

With 2020 drawing to a close, many of us will be focusing upon our Christmas plans and how we plan to see our loved ones.

However, while we plan our festivities we must not forget that for many others around the world - this Christmas will not be a happy and joyous affair.

At this very moment we have conflicts raging around the world. These conflicts have claimed thousands of lives, displaced millions of families, and brought whole countries to the brink of famine and collapse.

Just last month we saw the outbreak of a new war in the Tigray province of Ethiopia, causing millions to flee to nearby Sudan, and the famine in Yemen continues to claim lives - including 85,000 children.

These people are fleeing for their lives and trying to make sure their families are safe. I want everyone to be treated fairly in their flight to safety - whether from Hong Kong or Ethiopia.

Both Wales and the wider UK have a long and proud history of welcoming refugees to our shores with open arms, inviting them to become part of our national family. This commitment is recognised around the world and is why many see us as a safehaven, where they can come and restart their lives.

However, in recent years this reputation has been under threat. Harsh political rhetoric, which seeks to blame refugees for the problems our country faces, has led to a hardening attitude and a cold wave of cynicism to wash over our policy.

The UK Government's recent decision to renage on it's commitment to reunite vulnerable child refugees with family in the UK is just one example of how much we have strayed from this path.

Even then, we see those who do arrive in the UK being placed in prison like arrangements at former MOD barracks such as in Penally in Pembrokeshire and Napier Barracks in Folkestone. This is unacceptable.

People seeking safety are no different to any of us and they deserve respectful, safe, and dignified treatment.

We must reconnect with our history, rekindle our compassion, and welcome our arms to those in need.

 

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