Father of Alan Kurdi calls for more help for refugees

Photograph of three-year-old boy’s body lying at waters edge prompted global outcry

Today is exactly a year since the body of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach. Alan, his mother, Rehana, and five-year-old brother, Ghalib, drowned together just 4km from the shore. Photograph: Demir/AFP/Getty

Today is exactly a year since the body of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi washed up on a Turkish beach. Alan, his mother, Rehana, and five-year-old brother, Ghalib, drowned together just 4km from the shore. Photograph: Demir/AFP/Getty

 

The father of the Syrian boy whose lifeless body was photographed on a Turkish beach prompting a global outcry one year ago has begged world leaders to help more refugees on the anniversary of his death.

Three-year-old Alan Kurdi drowned on September 2nd last year. The image of the boy lying face down on the water’s edge was carried by media outlets across the world.

His five-year-old brother Galip and mother Rehana also died during an attempted journey from Bodrum to the Greek island of Kos.

Speaking a year after the tragedy, Alan’s father Abdullah appealed for countries to do more to help refugees.

“At first the world was anxious to help the refugees but this did not even last a month. In fact the situation got worse, the war escalated and more people are leaving,” he told BBC News.

“I hope that all the leaders of the world can try and do good and stop the wars so that the people can go back to normal life.” He said that not a day goes by when he does not think of his two boys.

The British government is facing fresh calls to accelerate action on the refugee crisis. Pictures of Alan led to widespread demands for more refugees to be settled in the UK.

On Friday, celebrities including Juliet Stevenson and Vanessa Redgrave, religious leaders and local politicians will urge ministers to immediately bring over hundreds of children stranded in Calais’ sprawling migrant camp.

They will gather for a memorial event organised with Citizens UK outside the Home Office in London, before handing in a letter addressed to Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

It will include the names of 387 children said to be eligible for asylum in the UK, including those with family links in the country and those who are to be cared for under a Government commitment to resettle more lone refugee children from Europe.

Lord Dubs, the Labour peer and campaigner who helped force the Government into accepting an amendment to the Immigration Act compelling them to take in more lone minors from Europe said: “I am deeply saddened that despite repeated calls from me and others the Government still seems to be dragging its feet on the commitments it made when the amendment in my name was accepted.

Despite the dangers refugees are continuing to attempt to cross into Europe. On Monday alone, Medecins Sans Frontieres said it had helped in the rescue some 3,000 people in the central Mediterranean.

Agencies