For many of us, it's becoming harder and harder to recognize the world we live in, whether because of a rise in racist and xenophobic attacks, a loss of humanity for those on the move, or a sense of increasing inequality between the rich and the poor — in and outside our borders. Too often, we focus on what divides us, rather than what unites us — with children, young people and families bearing the brunt.
In light of the latest developments in the United States — the senseless separation of children from their parents — now, more than ever, we need to stand up for what we believe in.
At Global Citizen, we believe in equality, for all people, particularly all children, everywhere. Whether you’re born in New York or Aleppo, London or Lagos, we all ultimately share the same basic needs, hopes, and dreams. To be safe, happy, healthy and equal, regardless of race, gender, or wealth. This is our dream for humanity, for every child, and we must stand up for it.
Inequality within our borders must be tackled — but the solution is not to demonise or penalise people and families who are fleeing unimaginable horrors, or those who migrate and bring great value to our society. Migrant or refugee — we are all human beings, and deserve dignity and respect.
In 2018, world leaders will come to the UN to agree on a more just way of managing the global refugee crisis and ensuring dignity and inclusion for migrants. These two agreements, called the Global Compact for Refugees ￼and the Global Compact for Migration are all about sharing responsibility; where all parts of society stand together and do their fair share instead of leaving individual states to bear the burden of mass forced displacement.
The Global Compacts for Migration and Refugees have the potential to transform the lives of millions of children. This will be the most concrete – and most important – measure of their success. We want leaders to agree to text in the Compact that:
- Refugee and migrant children should always be protected and their protection should not stop at a border.
- Migrant and Refugee children should have access to safe, quality and inclusive education and other key services without fear.
- Migrant and refugee children should not be separated from their families. The compacts should support ways to facilitate avenues to keep families together including through facilitating family reunification.
- Child immigration detention should become a thing of the past.
- Both compacts should ensure no child is sent back to countries where they will face harm and serious human rights abuses.Their protection should be our primary concern.
The treatment of child refugees and migrants is new or unique and child detention and separation has been happening for years around the world. But it’s time to put a stop to this. After all, a child is a child.
If you agree, raise your voice. Share this image on Twitter to show your support for every person, no matter where they were born and ask world leaders to adopt these historic Global Compacts that can unite all of us and ensure everyone has a place to feel safe, to be educated and to find opportunity.