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.
This week, we highlighted migration and the work of the Red Cross and our partner organizations to meet the needs of those fleeing conflict, disaster, and poverty. As a Movement, the Red Cross is focused on humanitarian assistance and protection for migrants as well as public awareness around the need to support migrant communities.
Over the past several months, the news has been flooded with stories about Europe’s refugee “crisis” and the work of international organizations to meet the humanitarian needs of those in transit. From reconnecting separated families, to ensuring migrants have access to food and water, to providing hygiene and care products, many have risen to the call to protect humanity. Our own stories have focused on the work being done in the United States and Mexico to provide migrants with basic first aid, self-care information, and the chance to call their loved ones.
Around the globe, people are joining the International Federation of the Red Cross’ #ProtectHumanity campaign which urges the global community to respect the rights and human dignity of migrants. And throughout Pope Francis’ visit to the United States, he has called on the international community to set aside ideological interests and work for the common good. While public outpouring around these campaigns and events has been positive, there is still work to do to change public opinion on migration.
The call to protect migrants is indeed a call to protect all of humanity. The human story is one of migration, whether over the course of centuries or weeks, so to not protect and support and respect migrants is to not care for the future generations of our world. Today, we aren't faced with a crisis or a burden, as many story titles would have you believe, but an opportunity to enrich our societies and support those in need.
It’s rare (possibly unprecedented) that we include a call to action in “This Week in Restoring Family Links News,” but given the circumstances and this week’s themes, I think it’s fitting. First, I urge everyone to join the Red Cross’ #ProtectHumanity campaign – sign the petition and add your voice to thousands calling for better protections for migrants. Second, stop (or don’t start) using the words “crisis” and “burden.” The less we frame in a negative light refugees, migrants, and the world’s current opportunity to change our thoughts and actions towards them, the less we support a negative outcome for this and future generations of migrants. Please join.