I want my government to remember the numerous times the UK has displayed compassion and commitment to human life and dignity by providing refuge for those facing persecution. During the Second World War they helped the Kindertransport children, in the 1980s they took in refugees from Vietnam, and in the 1990s they helped those fleeing from war in Bosnia and Kosovo. Sadly, the lack of support they are currently offering refugees will definitely be a stain on their history.
In the last 15 years, the Mediterranean Sea has transformed into a graveyard for more than 20,000 migrants and refugees searching for protection and a better life in Europe. At least 3,500 people drowned close to European shores in 2014, many of them from Syria, Eritrea or sub-Saharan Africa. Already this year, 500 people have lost their lives at sea, and that's before the summer period when the majority of people attempt the dangerous crossing.
The brutal, chaotic, sprawling Syria crisis is now so multi-faceted, with so many layers, even the newsrooms, experts and seasoned aid-workers are struggling to keep up. I've been working on Syria for nearly four years, yet it continues to horrify me with its images of suffering - of starving families, child amputees and torture survivors. It terrifies me with its prospect of longevity - there is seemingly no end to such an intractable war... We must settle more. We should resettle at least 10,000, our fair share of the 180,000+ who need to be resettled in the rich and developed nations.
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.
Just a few steps away from safety, in the chaos of crossing the Jordanian border, four-year-old Marwan was separated from his family. Suddenly alon...
All any of these families want is to go home, to return to what they knew, to resume normal lives. The only way this will happen is for the conflict to end, for peace talks to begin to allow a safe return to pick back up the lives left behind. No one is suggesting that is likely to be any time soon.
Unlike a military intervention in Syria, providing sufficient support to the country's refugees is something that should require no debate. The UN has appealed to the world to plug the $2billion shortfall of funds needed now to keep the seven million people displaced by the conflict safe and healthy.