Do you follow @intlfamilylinks (Restoring Family Links’ account) on Twitter? See an interesting article but just don’t have the time to read it? “This Week in RFL News” is a weekly blog segment that highlights and summarizes some of the news items posted by RFL’s twitter.
Syrian refugees: This week, the hearts of Syrian refugees are heavy after a horrific tragedy that the international community is calling the "symbol" for the refugee crisis. At least 12 Syrian refugees, including two young boys, drowned on Wednesday while trying to reach the Greek island of Kos from the Turkish resort town of Bodrum. The tragedy lies greatly in the discovery of a young boy that was found face down on Turkish shores by police, later identified as 3-year-old Aylan. Photographs of the lifeless child lying in the sand have circulated in the news media, causing divided controversy, as some advocate for the privacy of the small boy's family while others believe the raw photograph speaks to the chilling realities of the crisis. The body of Aylan's 5-year-old brother, Galip, was also found washed up on another part of the beach.
Aylan and Galip's father, Abdullah Kurdi, later recounted his final moments with his sons. He said, "My children slipped from my hands. We tried to hold on to the boat, but it deflated rapidly. Everyone was screaming. I could not hear the voices of my children and my wife.” After swimming to the closest beach and following lights across the shore, he realized he lost both of his sons and his wife.
Elsewhere, international leaders plead for this tragedy to be the final straw. Canada's New Democratic Party Leader called the crisis "an international failure," and later fulfilled the UN's request to grant asylum to over 10,000 Syrian refugees. “Enough is enough. We cannot continue to see these images,” he said.
Hungary: When Northern African and Middle Eastern migrants migrate to the European Union, many have a final destination of Austria, Germany, Britain or Sweden. In order to get to these areas, migrants have to cross the Mediterranean Sea, dock in Greece or Italy, and make their way through Macedonia, Serbia or Hungary, to eventually make their way north by train into the respective nations. Hungary has been a major passing point for migrants, though it's an unsafe place for them to stay due to the government's intentions to build an anti-migrant wall.
Yesterday, thousands of migrants flooded into a train station in Budapest after police lifted a two-day blockade, but some who boarded a train they believed to be going to Germany ended up at a refugee camp miles from the capital. According to the Associated Press, anticipating migrants boarded an empty train at the Keleti station in Budapest, despite several announcements from the station that all services to Western Europe had been cancelled. Later, migrants were shocked to hear that trains to Austria or Germany would no longer depart due to safety reasons. Later, chaos ensued quickly when migrants were redirected to refugee camps, and police have attempted to suppress riots and violence. The Prime Minister of Hungary said in a statement that the migrant crisis was not Europe's problem, "it's a German problem." He later said, "Don't criticize Hungary for what is being done. Let Hungary do the job as it is written in the European regulations."