The aim is to write a few sentences from the perspective of a person seeking asylum.
The best place to start is to put yourself in the position of one of the 65 million forcibly displaced people in the world
(and if you haven’t already, you can check out our READ page /s to give you insight and inspiration – REAL stories and REAL situations about REAL people who are suffering)
- this person’s life before they were displaced
- this person’s forced departure from their home
- this person’s existence on the move – from place to place, looking for safe places to rest/stay; the response of local people to their presence
- this person’s attempts to be recognised as genuine asylum seeker/refuges and their life in limbo as they await that official recognition
- this person’s experiences on boats and in trucks as they find themselves having to resort to desperate means to travel to a place where they might be able to make a home
- this person’s reception (at the ends of harrowing journeys) from governments whose policies are less than welcoming
- this person’s incarceration in a camp that is more akin to a prison – where the methods of private security forces and the reactions of local people reinforce the idea that those seeking asylum are criminals; where the lack of support, communication and information creates mental torture; where there is no hope for a better future; and where the frustration and the inappropriate environment leads to violence and challenging behaviour
- If you were in one of these situations – as a child, a young man, a mother … – what would it be like? What would one day encompass? What would your emotions be? What would you see and smell and hear? How might one minute pass – a minute you could never have imagined in all your worst nightmares?
A few sentences.
From the middle of that feeling,
The thing that strikes you as terrifying, unjust, tragic, damaging, bewildering, demeaning, torturous …
And when you name the person who is in that situation, name them for a politician who has failed to express empathy.
A politician who has the power to accept, to provide, to welcome BUT
who has failed to understand that, where it not for luck or circumstance beyond their control, it could be them.
Them chased from their birthplace because of their beliefs or thoughts.
Them trying to keep their family safe.
Them leaving loved ones who cannot travel behind in a place of peril.
Them being rebuffed and treated as if they are subhuman.
Them being punished for wanting to live and work and think without daily threats and fear.
Our SEND page lists some politicians – Australian federal government, key British and US leaders who have responded less than receptively. Choose one or more of them or any other you feel needs to gain insight in order to do their job according to their nation’s values, human rights law AND to accurately represent those who elected them.