It was the image that shocked the world.
Little Alan Kurdi, face down in the sand. Small. Alone. Lifeless.
The cost of our leaders’ indifference to refugees’ suffering was plain to see and the horror was widespread; how could Alan have been allowed to drown? Where was our governments’ humanity?
We responded by taking to the streets of London – tens of thousands of us – demanding that Britain welcomed more refugees. At the back of our minds we all knew that only good fortune meant that Alan wasn’t our own toddler or brother.
But one year on, much of that public anger has faded; possibly because it seemed like the Government had finally responded by committing to resettling some Syrian refugee families – the equivalent to each constituency welcoming just one family a year.
That was never going to be enough. Children like Alan are still dying. In fact, 2016 looks set to be the deadliest year on record for people desperately trying to seek safety in Europe. But their deaths are anonymous. Out of sight and out of mind.
Refugee Council Head of Advocacy Dr. Lisa Doyle said: “One year on from Alan Kurdi’s death the fact that thousands of people, including many children, are continuing to die during their search for safety shames Europe.
“Later this month, world leaders will gather in New York and Washington to agree solutions to the global refugee crisis, but the time for talking is over. We need to see all countries, including Britain, taking concrete action that prioritises sharing responsibility for protecting refugees and offering more people safe passage. Lives depend on it.”
One year on from Alan’s death we’re asking you to remember him. We’re asking you to remember everyone who’s died since. We’re asking you to act.
On Saturday 17 September, we’ll be taking to the streets of London in a march of solidarity with refugees.
Please will you join us?
It’s crucial we demonstrate on that day that refugees are welcome in Britain because just a couple of days later, our Prime Minister is due to head to New York for two global make or break summits on the refugee crisis.
Please join us on the 17th September to show that we will never forget Alan nor the importance of welcoming refugees.
Let us know you’re coming to the march by RSVPing here and we’ll send you all of the details of where you can find us on the day.