An unprecedented 65 million people are displaced, worldwide due to war, persecution, and natural disasters. Their desire? Basic human rights of peace, safety, and freedom.
Instead, many are met with more of what they longed to leave behind—violence, hatred, and enslavement.
The headlines bellow:
“People for Sale: Where lives are auctioned for $400”
“Syrian immigrants ‘treated worse than dogs’”
“Australia: Appalling abuse, neglect of refugees on Nauru”
Abuse. Slavery. Death and neglect.
In Libya, the gateway to the Mediterranean, Nigerian refugees are falling prey to smugglers who promise help, but deliver bondage. Refugees like Victory, a 21-year old who spent his life savings hoping to trade Nigeria’s corruption for peace in Europe, wind up being sold for labor or disappearing into the sex trafficking industry.
In the Middle East, the displaced are shot at and forced into overfilled and unsanitary camps. Mazen Sefo, his wife and four children, escaped their home town in Syria that had become commonplace to frequent bombings and violent ISIS raids. “All we want is for our kids to have a better life,” they shared. Instead, at the Turkish border, they were “greeted” with gunshots.
Australia made headlines in 2016 when they forced Middle Eastern and African asylum seekers onto the island of Nauru, where they lived in “prison-like” conditions. Authorities denied visits to journalists who would divulge the country’s disgraceful and unethical treatment of human beings.
These are just a few of the innumerable occurrences have become the fate of hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children across the globe. This is not a Syrian problem, or an Afghanistan problem, or a South Sudan problem—it is a humanitarian problem.
So how, then, did we get here? Why do we, for the most part, remain unmoved by those atrocious acts against our fellow human beings?
It’s the same reason war, persecution, genocide and neglect has been happening since the beginning of time—dehumanization.
In a nutshell, dehumanization is defined as “the process of depriving a person or group of positive human qualities.”
Vox.com explains the danger behind it: “Look back at some of the most tragic episodes in human history and you will find words and images that stripped people of their basic human traits. In the Nazi era, the film The Eternal Jew depicted Jews as rats. During the Rwandan genocide, Hutu officials called Tutsis ‘cockroaches’ that needed to be cleared out.”
Dehumanization is not just a problem of the past, but the plight of many refugees and immigrants who are commonly discriminated against. Listen closely and you can hear it in the underlying rhetoric of entire governments where entire religious or people groups are deemed “dangerous” and “threats”.
Wealthy countries with resources and opportunity close their doors to the suffering in the name of national security, while bodies wash ashore. As Amnesty International put it, “People are dying while governments spend billions on border control.” Meanwhile, shockingly, 10 of the poorest countries accommodate half of the world’s refugees.
It is our collective social responsibility, as humans, to care for those in need.
So how, then do we “re-humanize” our feelings toward those that have been relegated to a lesser status?
Like most other solutions, we must begin with ourselves. The good and bad news is that studies have proven our “perception of ‘otherness’ is like a dial in our minds that can be turned on” and, subsequently, off.
As individuals, we control our own dial. We turn dehumanization “on” when we gather with those who are just like us and belittle or demonize those who are different than us. We turn it on when we We turn it on when we close our eyes and close our doors to those we deem unworthy of the same basic human rights we enjoy.
But we turn it “off” when we nurture empathy. When we remember that these are moms, dads, daughters, and sons. People with dreams and desires like us, who have value and bring their own unique vantage and talents to the world.
We turn it off when we get to know and understand people who are different than us; when we welcome others who don’t look, sound or believe like us.
We turn it off when we open not just our eyes and ears to see and hear the atrocities that surround us, but stand up for, and stand with all mankind.
While no single person can solve this humanitarian crisis, we can all make a difference within our own communities.
At Amplio Recruiting, we are connecting the talented refugee workforce with job opportunities that will enable them to rebuild. We believe that refugees are some of the most resilient and dependable workers on the market.
You can take a stand and offer opportunity and hope to local refugees, while increasing efficiency and dependability at your workplace. We would love to connect to share more. Send us an e-mail or visit our website at www.ampliorecruiting.com to learn about our benefits and services.
For monthly updates and more ways you can stand with refugees, text REFUGEE to 444999
Our mission at Amplio is helping great companies hire dependable people from the refugee workforce. In conjunction with that mission we recognize our unique authority to serve as advocates for refugees around the globe. Therefore, we proudly claim any opinions in this article as a representation of our business and its impact in the communities we serve.