“Afghan Girl”: 12 year old Sharbat Gula had a face that not many could forget after her photo was featured in National Geographic. Gula’s photo was taken in a refugee camp in Pakistan in 1984. Her green eyes mesmerized and made her well known around the world. Gula’s photo helped put a focus on the thousands of Afghani refugees fleeing conflict with the Soviets.Read More
London: Outside of Parliament Square in London was a “graveyard of life jackets” to honor and raise awareness of refugees and migrants who perish at sea. These were the same life jackets worn by the refugees crossing from Turkey to the Greek Island of Chios. There are hopes that the 2500 worn refugee life jackets, with 650 of them being worn by children, will urge international governments to address and take action to help the crisis.
Those who took initiative to spread out the life jackets were campaigners of the International Rescue Committee, with the timing of this protest planned purposefully due to the United States Migration Summit occurring in New York. The Director of Policy at the IRC, Sanj Srikanthan, said that the protest was “meant to represent just some of the people who have died crossing the Mediterranean- refugees fleeing conflict just trying to get to safety.”Read More
Ecuador: Ecuador is still reeling from the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the coast on April 16, which has caused 655 deaths and about 4,600 critically injuries. both of which continue to climb as rescue crews search and pull people from the rubble. The capital of Quito did not report extensive damage, but six coastal provinces have been placed under a state of emergency. Much of these provinces' infrastructure is severely damaged, and thousands are still left stranded without reliable communication, aid supplies, or running water. The Ecuadorian government has deployed 10,000 armed forces members to these provinces to set up temporary shelters and hospitals.Read More
Tension in Europe: On Sunday, violence erupted on the border between Greece and Macedonia as refugees in the Idomeni camp attempted to storm a fence. Macedonian police reportedly responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, and a clash ensued for seven hours. There were no fatalities, but medical teams in the camp are treating about 300 people for injuries sustained from police beatings, tear gas inhalation, and rubber bullet injuries.Read More
On Monday, the world observed the International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. On December 8, 2005, the United Nations General Assembly declared that the day would be observed on April 4th of every year, with the intention of calling on states to help establish and develop anti-mine technology and capacities in countries where they are still an everyday threat. At the time, an estimated 15,000-20,000 adults and children were killed or severely injured every year from mines which remained in the ground.
Since the signing of the 1997 Ottawa Treaty by 162, this figure has decreased dramatically to about 3,500 per year killed or severely injured by mines. Production and transference of mines has been nearly eliminated, and 48 non-state armed groups across the world have pledged against using mines as well.Read More