Our world is undergoing a crisis. As Covid-19 sweeps the globe, all of us are in search of safety for ourselves and our loved ones. Meanwhile, on the borders of Europe, many people are also in desperate need of safety from war and persecution. How much more difficult is their plight now, in the face of the current global pandemic ?
Since 1993, Clowns Without Borders has met millions of children in areas in crisis all over the world, but never before have we seen a human rights crisis like the one happening at the border of Greece today.
The European Union was founded to prevent conflict, but has started a war against people fleeing from persecution. People are fleeing to Europe for a chance to be safe and survive, but instead they are met with teargas, violence, armed police and closed borders. It’s inhumane and a catastrophe.
In a world that often feels hard to understand, it’s international human rights law that must be our compass through hardship and seemingly impossible situations. These laws are very clear. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child states that every child has the right to live, that governments must make sure that children survive and develop in the best way possible. It also states that children who flee from their home country should get the help and protection they need. Further, the right to seek asylum is set in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and is one of the most important obligations of international law. All the countries in the EU have signed these documents, and promised to follow the guidelines.
Elected politicians and international actors are now abandoning these obligations. This a betrayal of humanity that Clowns Without Borders most profoundly protests against.
We now put our faith in the people of the world to show our leaders and authorities that we don’t accept this, that we stand for human rights and want to support the people in this crisis in any way we can.
That’s the only way we can move forward, if we want to reach a peaceful and hopeful future.
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