Friday, November 8, 2013

Suffering Outside of the Spotlight: The Eritrean Refugee Crisis

            There are many human rights atrocities that are fully within the public eye. There are videos made, campaigns run, and events held in order to educate the public and attempt to raise money for assistance. One example of this that comes to mind is the Kony 2012 campaign produced by Invisible Children, Inc. that went viral. However, there are many other situations such as this that are currently occurring: and no one is talking about it.
            This ignorance is exemplified by the fact that almost no one has heard about the Eritrean refugee crisis. Eritrea is a small African country that has a population of about 6 million people, and it has one of the highest rates of producing refugees, with over 2 million refugees currently seeking asylum in other parts of the world. The government is known for excessive detention, torture, and forced labor as punishments for practicing unauthorized religions or speaking out against the government. Many refugees are trying to escape from this or required military service.
These refugees usually escape towards Italy in overcrowded boats, which routinely capsize. Such an incident occurred recently in which over 300 people died. There are many other Eritrean refugee deaths that are occurring which could be stopped if action was taken. There are refugee camps in northern Ethiopia that are set up to house the escapees. However, these camps are horribly lacking any services other than basic food and limited healthcare.

Action needs to be taken to improve the efforts to care for these Eritrean refugees. If the Eritrean refugee crisis was brought to the attention of world leaders, we could possibly do more to care for the refugees while plans are being made for their resettlement. 

Article can be found here:

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