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We’ve buried head in sand over refugees

Published 18/08/2016

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor
Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

The plight of Hank the dog, who was on trial for being a pit bull terrier-type, recently made headlines in newspapers and on social media across the world. A petition to save him attracted tens of thousands of signatures alongside celebrity support. Compare this to a recent week where 170 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean and only a line or two appeared on the story in a few newspapers.

I am deeply concerned that, as the world’s media has turned its focus away from the refugee crisis, government red tape, over-zealous use of authority and, in some instances, a denial of basic human rights is being allowed to flourish in many of the camps which set up in Greece and France.

Just because we no longer see news coverage of refugees arriving on the shores of Western Europe doesn’t mean that the situation has resolved. If anything, this man-made, 21st century disaster is getting worse and it is showing no sign of abating. It has, however, lost its “shock” factor and we have become immune to the suffering of our fellow human beings.

The sad truth is that we are simply not doing enough and burying our heads in the sand appears to be an acceptable response. It is not and cannot be the answer to this disaster. Millions have been displaced, thousands have been killed and governments, who seem to be more worried about votes than human beings, dismiss the true extent of the disaster. I am appealing for our politicians to stop pretending this crisis isn’t happening and to do more. Today.

AIDAN CRAWFORD

President, northern region

Society of St Vincent de Paul

Belfast Telegraph

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