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Refugees....and the world's indifference and shame

With the news today over yet another group of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean more than a timely piece in The New York Times puts the issue of refugees fairly out there...

"The world is facing the biggest refugee crisis since World War II, a staggering 60 million people displaced from their homes, four million from Syria alone. World leaders have abdicated their responsibility for this unlucky population, around half of whom are children.

The situation is sadly reminiscent of that of refugees fleeing the destruction of World War II and the Nazi onslaught. Then, too, most governments turned their backs, and millions who were trapped perished."

In The Age, Paul McGeough, the paper's Chief Foreign Correspondent writes in "Migrant crisis: the problem with the West's refugee policies"....

"Pope Francis makes a plea on behalf of our "brothers and sisters … seeking a home where they can live without fear". But the privileged world - and shamefully Australia has become a leader in the field - now treats those fleeing the chaos of war as suspected criminals and terrorists."

"Australia happily sends soldiers to foreign countries to kill people; but during the 2014 Ebola crisis in Africa, it refused to send its own health workers to save people. The Europeans will protect commercial cargoes from pirates off Somalia, but they quibble about rescuing human beings in the Mediterranean. Instead of protecting the Rohingyas in their homes and villages, the Burmese authorities lock them up in detention camps – obviously wishing them to flee.

An Italian refugee rescue program that cost $US10 million a month gets the axe, but the Iraq War, at maybe $US10 billion a month, was allowed to run and run. And when US President Barack Obama asked for $US1 billion to address the problems causing people to flee their homes in Latin America, the response was a one-fingered gesture from a Republican-dominated Congressional appropriations committee – just $US300 million.

We seem to have lost our humanity."



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