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Why do migrants die at sea?

Why do the migrants die at sea?

Why do migrants die at sea?

First of all let us agree on one thing: No one, no mother, no father, no child should be labeled as ‘illegal’ because they are running away from war, death, oppression, hunger or poverty. It is far too easy to feel sad while watching on TV a 5 year old kid crossing the desert on his own to reach the refugee camp, or to see a mourning women for the death of her children. But the real test is about what we say and what we do when these people get up and run for their lives and for the lives and safety of their children.

The real test begins when these people arrive at our borders...

Imagine yourself in Syria, Libya, Iraq or Gaza. Don't go too far, go back in time and imagine yourself in Bosnia. What would you do if you had no chance left to survive and if your children died infront of your eyes? What border, what law, what visa and immigration controls would matter to you? Like everyone else you and your loved ones have one shot, one chance to live on this earth. What would you do if that chance was to be taken away from you?

The logical conclussion of sentences starting with “I understand their suffering BUT,...” is to say “refugees should not run away, they should not come to our country”. This, in turn means that “they should stay in their own countries and die”.


The question remains. Why do migrants die at sea?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14/1 states, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”. Ask any European government and you will get the same answer, that "they are fully supporting this fundamental human right".

The answer to the question above could be as complicated and as deep as you like. We could answer it using  political, historical analysis, considering all sorts of international, global and regional events, such as wars, famine, environmental disasters, poverty, oppression etc... But instead of this boring(!) analysis lets remember a few things that may gives us some clues for an answer.

For example,

Nigeria, an oil and gas rich country, generating so much wealth for the local rulers and international oil corporations while millions of people live on a Dollar a day under a very oppressive regime...

Africa, a continent with vast fertile land and rich fresh water resources that have been taken away from local people, privatised and handed over to Chinese, French, Dutch, German, US and Russian agricultural corporations. Indegenous people are left without a chance to survive and sustain decent living conditions.

Afganistan and Iraq, up to 5 million people became refugess due to the Western invasions and wars.

Gaddafi was the excuse for NATO and the West to bomb Libya. After a while, when  the news reports and international commetators forgot about it, they pulled out quitely leaving a destroyed country behind that is now a killing zone.

London, where world's biggest arms fair is organized. Among the official invitees - the customers - are some of the world's most brutal military dictators, leaders of oppressive regimes etc. Billions of Dollars worth of weapons are sold to some of the poorests countries, financed by international markets. In some of these countries the levels of poverty is beyond any imagination.

Around the world, the ongoing military, economic and political interventions and manupulations by the rich countries, what is known as the ‘national interests' in various regions.

Climate change and forced migration. Do the politician care really? Do the rich countries and the international corporations care at all what is happening to our planet? We hear again and again the excuse of ‘national competive interests’

We can extend this list forever but there is an even shorter and simpler answer to the question of why the migrants die at sea.

Because the rich countries deny the victims of war, poverty, disasters or oppression the universal human right of “everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution”.

Because there is no possibility and no options for the migrants seeking refuge, to reach other countries safely and under the protection of states.

Because the only option for the refugees is to become ‘illegal migrants’ and trust their lives into the hands of profeteering traffikers .

And because, not only the rich countries don’t protect the poor and suffering, but they actively let them die on the way. Only recently Italy has announce that it will stop the 'search and rescue operations' in the Mediterranean, and Britain declared the cutting of funds for the same. What is more, EU has been signing ‘Readmission Agreements’ with peripheral countries that enabled the European countries to deport the refugees.

Whether our answers are short and quick, or long and comprehensive, the reality is out there. Some things are not right on this earth. This system has lost the plot altogether. On the news we see extreme wealth of a small minority alongside the extreme poverty of millions. Somebody’s ‘national’, ‘commercial’ interest becomes somebody’s famine, war, poverty, oppression or death.

That’s why migrants/refugees die at sea...

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