On September 2nd, 2015 the world woke up to the appalling photograph of a dead toddler lying on a beach in Turkey. The child Aylan Kurdi was three years old. He along with his parents were escaping Syria and fleeing to Europe after Canada rejected their refugee application. Aylan his mother and brother drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. The family was among thousands of Syrian refugees who are fleeing the war-torn country to nearby Europe. The chilling picture has caused global outrage and intense global attention to migration caused by war, political instability and a complete breakdown of law and order in their native land.
The Syrian Crisis is an ongoing civil war in Syria which began in the spring of 2011 (The Arab Spring) with widespread protests against then president Bashar Al-Assad, calling for the release of political prisoners. The protests were initially peaceful. However the protesters were subjected to violent crackdowns made by government forces which included the National Security Force. Turning a deaf ear to the dissenter’s demands, they were subjected to detention, torture and blatant violation of human rights. The violent crackdowns led to the quick escalation of protests, and in no time the rebels starting fighting back against the administration. The dissenters loosely organized themselves into various factions like Syrian National Council (exiled Syrians) , Free Syrian Army (Syrian military defectors), Islamic Front etcetera. Months of in-fighting and bloody conflicts have turned the protests into a full grown homicidal war. More than four years after it began, the civil war has killed over 220,000 people. According to the U.N, more than 7.8 million people have been internally displaced. Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are hosting a majority of the refugees. While pressure mounts on these countries to sustain the influx of displaced people, thousands of Syrians are undertaking the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in hope of a better life and future.
SOME STARTLING FACTS:-
- Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq are holding 95 percent (3.8 mi) refugees from Syria.
– Lebanon hosts 1.1 mi refugees (26% of the country’s population)
– Jordan hosts 618,615 refugees
-Turkey hosts 1.6 mi refugees (2.4% of its population)
-Iraq hosts 225,373 refugees (0.6% of its population)
-Egypt hosts 142,543 refugees (0.17% of its population)Note: Census based on refugees registered with United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC)
2. People killed amounts to more than 190,000.
3. 10.8 mi are in urgent need of humanitarian aid inside Syria.
4. 378,684 people (in the 5 main host countries) are in urgent need of resettlement.
5. Six Gulf Countries (Qatar, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain), Japan, Russia, Singapore, South Korea have offered zero resettlement places.
6. Germany has assured 35,000 places for Syrian refugees through its humanitarian admission programme.
7. Germany and Sweden have together received more than 95,500 new Syrian asylum applications in the last three years (64% of all such applications in European Union)
8. The other 26 European Nations have promised a paltry 5105 resettlement place (0.13 % of the refugees in the five main host countries)
“The images from this massacre are sickening. Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas. Others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath. A father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk. On that terrible night, the world saw in gruesome detail, the terrible nature of chemical weapons and why the overwhelming majority of humanity have declared them off limits — a crime against humanity.”