Migration is a fact of life. Humans have moved around the world for hundreds of thousands of years. It's hard to blame someone for wanting to improve his or her circumstances. My parents made the same decision when they realised I had polio. After he came to London my father never saw his parents again. My mum and dad made huge sacrifices for which I will always be grateful.
The rarity of these new, liberal democratic nations is illustrated by the speculation in the media and elsewhere that a newly independent Scotland would have a lot to learn from three-year-old South Sudan. The inference is clear: Establishing a fully functional government and the apparatus of the state is a phenomenally difficult task.
These bones from arid countries that have walked, run, climbed, crawled, sailed, clung on and hidden for two years on the journey from Africa and the Middle East to reach their promised land, the United Kingdom... when winter comes, having made it this far, if it is an unkind one, some will almost certainly die.
While politicians agree to bomb ISIS and arm other groups in the Middle East, no protection is offered to those fleeing the conflict. Instead Ministers appear on TV shows claiming that UK towns are "under siege" from migrants. Not only do these words stir up tensions, but they are also an insult to those who know what it's truly like to be under siege as their lives are ripped apart by civil wars across the Middle East... Instead of working with international partners and organisations to set up mechanisms that not only share the burden between countries but that also offer people safe, legal opportunities to travel, the UK will refuse to help rescue those who are drowning. We should all be ashamed.
While the eyes of the world rightly look towards global crises in Iraq, Syria, Gaza, Ukraine and West Africa, there is a serious and worsening humanitarian disaster almost going unnoticed in South Sudan. It is deeply saddening to see a country that was once so full of hope for the future, now embroiled in such a painful and destructive war with itself. When I first visited South Sudan less than two years ago I was struck by the optimism and hope that filled the air but today it is an entirely different story.
Kamal's story, and many others, makes it clear that the seizure of Mosul by the IS has manifested into a threat on human rights. This includes the right to practice whichever religion one chooses, should one choose to practice religion. Now, many hope that the new regime in Iraq will follow a path of statesmanship and pluralism, and not mindless sectarianism.
Many of the people we work with are relying on food parcels, crisis grants from the Red Cross and the kindness of the local community. After the 28-day transition period, the state no longer provides housing. Some people sofa-surf if they have friends. If they don't, sleeping rough is the only option. And what makes it even tougher to stomach is that it is entirely avoidable.
Following the horrific killing of the US photo-journalist James Foley, international anti-Islamic State rhetoric has gone up a notch. World leaders are all inveighing against the group. But in truth it's still not really clear what's being done to help the Yezidis, the Christians, the Shi'a Turkmen, the Shabaks, and indeed anyone in Iraq (including Sunni Muslims) threatened by the Islamic State and other armed jihadi groups.
When I was 11 years old, I was forced to become a refugee in my own country, Rwanda. I could see how innocent children and mothers suffered from a conflict they have never started. People died including my own brother. Innocent children were massacred. From then on, I developed a spirit of giving justice to those who are helpless, giving a voice to the voiceless, giving protection to the most vulnerable.
"We walked for more than 20 hours with no food or water," says Juan, an adolescent girl who arrived at Nawrouz refugee camp in north-east Syria three days ago, along with eight family members. Juan is from the Yazidi minority group, many of whom are fleeing to Syria from the mountains of Sinjar in Iraq.
Imagine a country where, at the stroke of a pen and without any recourse to a judge, a faceless Government official can deprive someone of their liberty and, at the stroke of a pen, consign them indefinitely to what to all intents and purposes is a prison, without them having being charged with or convicted of any crime. That country is Britain. And if you thought that this use of state power was characteristic only of dictatorships or tyrannies, then think again, as it's happening here, on our doorstep, under our noses, without any fuss and certainly without any publicity.