This week saw the horrific death of Aylan Kurdi, a refugee child who was lost at sea along with the majority of his family, and the already shifting winds of Canadian foreign and domestic policy altered their course as the international refugee crisis (particularly that of the Syrians) took centre stage on the campaign trails of our three major parties.
It is a truly arresting image, and I mourn for the loss of this boy and his family. But I am grateful that at long last, the refugee plight will be brought forward into national dialogue where it belongs. As human trafficking is one of my main areas of expertise and interest, the state of human rights and living conditions internationally and refugee crises/conflict points is always on the forefront of my mind, and so I am delighted that at long last, the Prime Minister and leaders of the NDP and Liberal parties have addressed the issue.
I am, however, speechless when it comes to the fact that the Prime Minister chose this occasion to rattle the sabres of war against the D’aash. I am well aware of the fact that the Kurdi family was fleeing persecution in Syria; I am equally well aware of the existence of groups like Boko Haram. I am also aware that one of the major factors behind this refugee crisis and the rise of the Caliphrate has to do with the environment, with food insecurity, water shortages, and the ever fragile state of international reliance of the petrodollar and the constant struggle of the Middle East to shake off it’s chains of Western Oppression.
There are many aspects to any given refugee crisis, and while the refugees fleeing persecution from groups like the D’aash and Boko Harm and Assad are certainly the first to come to mind for most people when they think of the word refugee, they are certainly not the only causes of the crisis at hand. The first to come to mind actually would be the Rohingya, who are a Muslim subpopulation being driven to extinction by extremist Buddhists in Myanmar, and the Indonesians whose ethnicity is currently being held in dispute by varying nations which wish to deny their responsibility to protect.