On the third anniversary of the death of Alan Kurdi, faith leaders from Jewish, Muslim and Christian traditions have called on the UK Government to “match the efforts of the Kindertransport” and provide 10,000 child refugees with protection in the UK.
Three year-old Kurdish refugee Alan Kurdi boarded a flimsy vessel at Bodrum in Turkey to make the 4km sea journey with his family and other fleeing refugees to the Greek island of Kos. The boat capsized and a Turkish photographer’s shot of young Kurdi lying face down on the shore was widely used in the media, and heightened public awareness of dangerous Mediterranean migration routes.
In a letter to the Sunday Times, the faith leaders wrote:
“Three years ago today Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Kurdish refugee, drowned because he had no safe route to sanctuary in Europe. The lives of more than 9,000 people fleeing war and persecution have been lost in the Mediterranean since that little boy’s death.
“This autumn Britain will mark a more hopeful anniversary. Eighty years ago the Kindertransport was launched, a rescue operation that saved 10,000 Jewish and other refugee children from Nazi persecution.
“Now it is our turn to honour that legacy by helping more child refugees to find safety here. On this anniversary we call on the government to match the efforts of the Kindertransport and establish a lasting route to protection in the UK for 10,000 child refugees in future years.”