They are no longer on the first page of newspapers. They don’t increase media audiences, they don’t produce enough clicks and retweets, no one is interested anymore. From time to time, a picture on social media and some numbers: other 30 refugees died. On TV, the news on the refugees is at some point before the sports news and the weather forecast. Their deaths no longer engage media consumers; they become numbers, increasing each day.
I recently read in Observer that one year after the launch of the refugee relocation programme, it failed. It was a two year plan through which 160 000 refugees were supposed to be relocated in different EU countries. Only 3% of them found a home. And all of this while Angela Merkel is becoming less and less popular in the polls and there are chances for CDU to lose the elections in Germany. The extreme right party, Alternative for Germany, scored an important electoral success in the region where CDU has a strong constituency, last week. We don’t know for how long the refugees actions will remain priorities for Germany and other EU do not seem to prioritize the refugees topic.
5700 refugees died in the last year, according to OXFAM. This is the number of victims after the picture of Aylan, the Syrian child found dead at the Mediterranean Sea, circled the Glob through social media and made us all more sensible to the refugee situation.
4664 deaths happened before little Aylan, leaving us with over 10 000 dead people in two years. According to OXFAM, from the beginning of 2016 until now, there was a victim every 80 minutes.
Imagine an average day of your life and think about it: at the end of that day, in which you worked, spent time with your family, read, watched TV, 11 people died. Every single day! But what difference does that make, they are simply numbers, and we seemed to have stopped caring!
This article was originally written in Romanian on Gratian’s personal blog: http://gratieluimihailescu.ro/oameni-care-au-devenit-cifre/
The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the author, and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of ALDA and the European Union.