In September 2015, the image of the body of the Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, washed up on the shores of Mediterranean Sea, drew the attention of the globe to the European refugee crisis and the wars in Middle East. Just a month ago in April, the equally disheartening image of a Syrian father holding the bodies of his little twins died from chemical attacks has once again stirred people’s sentiments.
The Syrian refugee crisis has yet to end. The living condition of those refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries are desperate. However, different people have different wishes. Let’s hear what they say:-
Samaher, Syrian refugee, a mother of two daughters
Syrian refugees continue to flee as the condition in the country worsen. To this date over 4 million Syrian refugees have fled to escape from war and instability. About 250,000 of them went to Europe which has causes global concern. Some of the refugees who managed to flee used to be volunteers and professionals of Syrian NGOs resulting in the shortage of manpower of NGO workers in the country.
A Joint Statement by Amity Foundation Hong Kong, Cedar Fund, Hong Kong Red Cross, Oxfam Hong Kong, Plan International Hong Kong, Save the Children Hong Kong, The Salvation Army
A picture of Alan Kurdi brought tears to millions overnight: a 3-year old Syrian boy lying cold and dead on a beach in Turkey, after he and members of his family drowned trying to reach safety. He was only one of the 12 million Syrians suffering from violence, persecution and extreme conflict-led poverty in a brutal war. The story of the Syrians fleeing conflict is the same sad story for many refugees around the world. In common with many other countries at war, instability and poverty at this very moment, people are forced to leave everything behind and to risk their lives in perilous journeys with only a hope of survival.
The global economy is no more secure today than it was five years ago. International institutions have failed to regulate greed and prevent the next banking crisis. More than 200 million people will be without work; 40% of them are young people. Almost 75 million people lost their jobs in 2012 alone, and this is expected to increase this year. Increasing numbers of workers are being forced into short-term contracts or the informal economy, with low pay, no benefits and no job security.
International Trade Union Confederation’s (ITUC) latest report provides an analysis of the actions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to weaken collective bargaining. In the last few years, the IMF has utilised its lending programmes, regular reviews of country performance and research activities to attack collective bargaining in Europe. The reforms supported by the IMF are very similar across a range of countries, and this “one size fits all approach” harks back to the much criticised structural adjustment programmes of the 1980s and 1990s. While the statistical evidence shown in the report told us that those countries with strong unions, high collective bargaining coverage and synchronised collective bargaining systems have distinct economic advantages. [ITUC]
Pray for the collective bargaining:
Yesterday was the Labour Day. Let us remember the labourers all over the world together. Pray for decent jobs for all and greater equity. Especially for those dock workers in HK, pray that the strike will be ended soon and the workers’ benefits and rights will be improved;
Pray that IMF, governments and other organisations stop weakening the collective bargaining. Pray also that more workers can bargain for their rights through this solidarity action.