If you are in a leaky rubber boat you are a refugee ..

.. not a migrant.  If you are fleeing for your life, and risking the death of yourself and the child you are carrying, you are a refugee not a migrant.  I am a migrant.  I chose to move to Finland with my family.  I had a job ready and waiting for me.

So let’s get just underline what Al Jazeera is saying.  Migrants move as a free choice.  To look for work, to follow family.  Refugees are at risk of persecution or death if they stay.

The conflict in the Middle East is driving vast numbers of refugees towards Europe.  They only reason they are taking such extreme measures is because if they stay put, they will die.  And die horribly.  So they leave with only what they are wearing, carrying babies in their arms and pay a king’s ransom to a shady guy with a leaky rubber boat to float them across the Mediterranean  Sea.  Many of them die.  Not one of them would risk the lives of their children so the sea lightly.

And our response in the west?

Barbed wire, tear gas, armed troops.

I am frankly gutted to see how British politicians and the media are using emotionally loaded terms to such as “swarm” and “plague” and throwing the word “migrant” in the mix too.

This Facebook post describes the situation at Calais in France.

If you’re gonna be pissed at someone; be pissed at the politicians, armies, religious extremists, human traffickers and other scum, but don’t be you dare be angry at the refugee running for his life who, along the way, has lost more than you can ever imagine.

Picture Credit: Daniel Etter (2015) / NY Times (Syrian Laith Majid with his son and daughter on Kos)

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