Today is International Migrants Day and pleasing to see lots of positive comment out there on various Internet media. There’s a hash tag on Twitter and almost 2.5 million hits returned from a Google search.
STOP! My recent research into promoting my brand on social media told me not to discuss politics. Well, I make no apologies for this article because some things I can’t ignore.
At the top of the Google list, William Lacy Swing from The IOM started his article in a way that made me, a supporter of migration, tune-in my attention.
““I’m a migrant, but didn’t have to risk my life on a leaky boat or pay traffickers. Safe migration cannot be limited to the global elite.” Thus spoke United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres in September 2017.”
I don’t wish to go over Swing’s article but I urge you to read it. For me, two points stand out.
Over 2 billion people have smartphones and with those comes access to social media, and the opportunities offered.
- “It comes as no surprise then that vast armies of hopeful young migrants want to climb aboard the “leaky boats” referred to by the Secretary General. Pushed by lack of economic opportunity, often exacerbated by climate change, they too are vulnerable to the siren song of social media.”
People want to care for their families, improve their situations and escape the harsh realities of their homelands. Some only want to work and return home afterwards. But what’s stopping them and what do they meet when they reach foreign shores?
Fear! Not only their own fear but the fear they experience coming from natives of the places they reach. To delve deeper into this issue would take a novel or academic paper so I have opted for the former in Supper in Jerusalem. A novel about a young migrant who experiences the sharp end of discrimination, hate and negativity and attempts to create something positive.
- “That’s where smuggling networks, human traffickers and modern day enslavers ply their trade these days with complete impunity. These cruel deceptions go unchecked as the social media giants chase new markets . . .”
Wherever there’s an opportunity, not only do we find the ‘good guys’ trying to earn an honest fortune. We also find the ‘bad guys’ plying their own harmful trades people trafficking in the shadows of society. Innocent people looking to build positive lives end up lost on the yellow brick road and often worse off.
Something needs to be done and while the United Nations attempts to address the issue, the ultimate solution involves all of us. We are human beings and we must live and fight for humanity with our courage, strength, compassion and love.