International Migrants Day
Christian Aid Scotland lead our thoughts today, International Migrants Day.
Can we have an International Migrant Day this year?
I mean, can we call them migrants?
Can we call them, 'them'?
In a year that has seen an unprecedented movement of people across borders since World War II, International Migrant Day on the 18th December is a day that takes on an added edge.
IMD was designated in 1990, as an opportunity to 'reaffirm our commitment to shape diverse and open societies that provide opportunities and lives of dignity for all migrants' (Ban Ki-moon).
While some say 'migrant is a word that strips suffering people of a voice' others have said 'the word migrant should be "reclaimed" as a fair and neutral description of people crossing borders.'
And while these semantics are being discussed, thousands of people are still making long and arduous journeys across borders in the hope of finding a place of safety. Middle East Communications officer for Christian Aid, Amy Merone, has recently returned from Serbia. You can see and read something of her encounters and the lived experience of those on the move.
Her account and the photographs help to humanise where labels detract reminding us that perhaps the labels of 'migrant' or 'refugee' can as easily and accurately be replaced with labels of parent, brother, sister, son, daughter, friend and neighbour, if we must use labels.
Take a few minutes to watch this film and find out the next steps we can all take for a sustainable response to the refugee crisis.
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