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Building Bridges Instead of Borders

Once again, forced migration has hit the headlines for tragic reasons. These past months, we have heard of the desperate situation on the Belarus-Poland border, a crisis that seems entirely political in its making. People are once again being used as pawns in political games in the worst possible way; this weaponisation of people, using them as a threat to national security, completely disregards their humanity and their right to safety. People are freezing to death whilst governments bicker, and the cruelty and inhumanity of it is shocking.

Last month, 27 people drowned whilst trying to cross the Channel. Now, we are hearing about the people who were lost in this tragedy; people who were loved, people who leave behind grieving friends and relatives. People who should have had futures. People should not be forced to get into small, rickety boats in order to find safety and it is our shame that this continues to happen. We urgently need safe routes to ensure that these tragedies at our border stop.

We also need to stop viewing people seekingย sanctuaryย as a threat, where people are demonised for doing exactly what we all would do when in danger. Instead of closing borders and building higher walls, we should start welcoming people in the same way we would want to be welcomed if we had to leave our home. If nations started doing this, instead of bickering over whose responsibility it is, we could avoid such tragedies.

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