Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Did You Know?
I was stumbling through channels tonight, and since we have banned cable in our house it does not leave many options. I came across a Globe Trekker special on PBS featuring Senegal and Morocco just as a man from Senegal told his story of attempting to flee the country by boat to France. They quoted that around 30,000 Africans attempt to cross to Europe each year with 1 out of 5 individuals dying in the process or disappearing. That is a estimated 6,000 deaths a year resulting from drowning in capsized boats or dying of dehydration in the desert. All in a attempt to get a good paying job so that they can turn around and send that money home to spouses, children, parents, grandparents... It turns out however that this issue does not get alot of major US media attention. There was a article on the online Global Post this January addressing the complexities of the tragedy, http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/morocco/100107/location-death-the-sahara?page=0,0 and you can see a picture essay here at Boston.com http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2009/01/african_immigration_to_europe.html. For some older stats you can check out this BBC News article from 2007 http://www.nonformality.org/2009/02/borders-of-europe/
It reminds me of the long and perilous journeys taken by our neighbors to the south only on a much larger scale. To put it into perspective, approximately 10 times more migrants die each year trying to cross from Africa to Europe but of course we can't really compare migration rates from one country to another to one entire continent to another. One human life is one to many, a future lost, a contribution to the world erased in desperation. It may be easy for people say well those are adults who made their choice and knew the risks. But what about the children? The ones taken along on the journey, the ones left behind and orphaned and the ones born in a new country where their parents are not legal citizens? What is to happen to them?