A little lifesaver

A little boy lies lifeless on the sand of a Turkish beach, washed up and stranded like a piece of flotsam.
It is the image that broke the world’s heart.
Three-year-old Syrian Aylan Kurdi died, along with his mother and older brother, trying to cross the sea between Turkey and Greece to find a safe haven in Europe.
He wasn’t the first to die while making that treacherous journey – at least 12 Syrian refugees died attempting that crossing on the same day.
But the death of this one little boy – and the graphic pictures of his tiny body – hit a note of tragedy that resonated worldwide.
It made many of us in our comfortable lives in our safe Western countries finally sit up and notice the true human toll caused by the reign of the extremist group ISIS and the long-running civil war in Syria.
It is not a new issue. A tide of humanity has been flowing out of the region to escape this nightmare for years.
Many of these people, including Aylan’s family, have been living a life in limbo in refugee camps in countries such as Turkey for years.
They cannot go home because they face persecution, death or simply have nothing to go home to.
Desperate to find safety and stability, they put their lives in the hands of people smugglers who promise to deliver them to safe havens in Europe.
Compared to these people, we Australians are rich beyond our wildest dreams.
We live with a level of freedom, safety, security and prosperity that make it almost impossible for us to comprehend the horror and devastation these refugees are fleeing from.
Little Aylan Kurdi’s death brought home this reality last week.
It opened the hearts of Australians who have called for our country to do its bit to help.
As Mayo MP Jamie Briggs highlights, reopening Inverbrackie to house refugees might not be the answer.
But accepting more of these people who have been stuck in the limbo of a refugee camp for years is something we must consider so they do not feel they have to attempt the deadly crossing to Europe.
Perhaps then the death of this one little boy, and the thousands of others to which we previously turned a blind eye, won’t have been in vain.

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