International Reporting: From the United Nations
The extraordinary risks that refugees are willing to take to reach the west was poignantly and horrifyingly made real when the lifeless body of a young boy was found on a beach face down near the Turkish resort of Bodrum. The young boy was one of at least 12 Syrians who were attempting to reach the Greek island of Kos.
The boy was identified as three year old Aylan Kudi. His five year old brother also died in a similar fashion. They reportedly lived in the northern Syrian town of Kobani, the site of fierce fighting between Islamic state insurgents and Kurdish forces. Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children was quoted as saying “…This child’s plight should concentrate minds and force the EU to come together and agree to a plan to tackle the refugee crisis.”
Greek authorities are coping with what has become the biggest migration crisis that anyone can remember. Turkish officials confirmed twelve people died after two boats carrying 23 people capsized. Five children and a woman died, seven were rescued, and two reached the shore in life jackets. Two people were missing.
Kos, facing Turkey’s Aegean coast has become the “go to” stop over for people determined to reach Europe. However, the thousands of people flowing in has created a crisis with regard to lack of shelter and worsening hygiene conditions. State services are insufficient and even with volunteers working 24/7 the lack of staff had caused an enormous back-up of registrations. According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, these two brothers are part of a tragic toll of 2500 people who have died this summer attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe.
A doctor who is a member of the Doctors of the World aid organization made a statement that if the European Union doesn’t intervene and if the issue isn’t internationalized on a UN level, we will not discuss how to avoid the crisis, adding that there is no migration issue but a refugee issue. Hungary, the UK, and Germany are also dealing with refugee issues along their borders.