One of our favourite TV hosts couldn’t keep it together on national television last night. We completely understand why.
Carrie Bickmore burst into tears on The Project last night.
The mother-of-two broke down as the panel of the Network 10 show discussed the devastating photos of two refugee brothers found dead on a Turkish beach.
Those images, including one of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi washed up, face-down on the sand, have come to symbolise the crisis facing Europe as countless refugees flee conflict in the Middle East.
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“I just can’t look at that without being so upset,” Bickmore said of the images, her voice cracking.
“It just makes me think about how lucky, lucky I am that I live in Australia, that my children live in Australia. That’s what it is.”
Television personality and panel member Chrissie Swan chimed in: “It’s very easy when you’re using words like ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ and all these other words. And then you see: That is a little boy in his little shoes, that’s an asylum seeker, that little boy is a refugee.”
Aylan’s family reportedly lived in a northern Syrian town called Kobane, where Islamic state and Kurdish forces have been locked in a brutal battle all year.
Aylan and his five-year-old brother Little Galip were fleeing the country’s civil war with their parents when their boat capsized.
Their mother Rehan was also killed in the accident, which claimed 12 passengers in total.
The tragic incident comes as European immigration policies continue to toughen, with nations erecting new fences along their borders, denying unauthorised immigrants access to healthcare or benefits and forcibly removing refugees from public transport.
Related content: Why it’s important to view those devastating images of little Aylan.
Aylan’s tragic fate resonates closer to home, too, with Australia’s Federal government showing no sign of loosening up on its harsh mandatory detention policies for asylum seekers arriving by boat.
The Abbott government’s treatment of asylum seekers was overnight criticised by a scathing editorial in the New York Times, which called it “inhumane, of dubious legality and strikingly at odds with the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war”.
The editorial drew warns Europe against adopting Australia’s stringent approach.
“It is inexcusable that some [refugees] find themselves today in situations that are more hopeless and degrading than the ones that prompted them to flee.”
That’s just the situation little Aylan and his family found themselves in.
And that’s enough to make anybody tear up.
If you were also moved by the image, you can consider donating to….
Save the Children: distributing essential items to asylum seeker families.
Red Cross Europe: Giving emergency health care at train stations.
Migrant Offshore Aid Station: Preventing migrant deaths at sea