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Shanghai’s NGO Exhibits Syrian Children’s Arts and the Works Show Impact of War

A Chinese NGO opened an exhibition in Shanghai to showcase works of Syrian children in order to raise awareness of the migrant crisis in Syria and the works show the impact of war

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Syrian Children's Work
A Painting on Display. VOA
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  • A Chinese NGO opened an exhibition in Shanghai to showcase works of Syrian children in order to raise awareness of the migrant crisis in Syria
  • The paintings depict war and the sufferings caused by it in the lives of the children
  • People were moved seeing the paintings and the issue of whether Shanghai can be able to help the refugees, was raised by Liu Yiqiang, founder of the NGO

 Sept 22, 2016: A non-governmental organisation (NGO) in China opened an exhibition in Shanghai this week to exhibit works done by Syrian children in order to raise social awareness about the crisis of the migrants in the war-torn country of Syria.

The Chinese Initiative on International Law, an independent NGO, obtained the paintings when its founder Liu Yiqiang and his team researched Syrian refugees in Greece and Turkey.

Migration flows are not new, but a wave of more than 1 million migrants last year prompted bitter divisions among European countries over how to share responsibility for them.

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After a request from a refugee center, Liu’s team brought 50 paintings by Syrian children back to China and put 30 of them on display in Shanghai on Monday.

Syrian Children
Syrian Refugee Children. Representational Image. Wikipedia

“I was shocked when I saw these paintings,” Liu said. “The bright colors used in each one of these paintings and the illustration of every side of the war and of their lives can directly bring you into the world of the children who have suffered the war.”

One of the children painted a giant green dinosaur towering over a child running away from it in fear.

At the United Nations General Assembly’s Summit for Refugees and Migrants, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced that China will provide $100 million of additional humanitarian aid to help solve problems brought about by the mass movement of refugees and migrants.

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“Shanghai received Jewish refugees during World War II. Now as an international metropolis, would Shanghai be able to do something for these refugees?” asked Li.

But one visitor to the exhibition disagreed.

“At this stage … China itself has many problems in its underdeveloped regions,” said Wang Le. “I do not think that China is suitable to receive refugees now.”

Another visitor Li Yan said she was moved by the art.

One of the painters “said that she would grow up into a happy woman,” she said. “However, they are living far away and becoming refugees now and don’t know that many countries are not willing to accept them.”

Liu said there will be a charity auction for the paintings in October. Funds raised from the auction will be donated to a special project at the China Children and Teenagers’ Fund which aims to educate young people in doing charitable work.

The exhibition will be on display until the end of September.

(VOA)

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  • Antara

    War and its futility! What to happen to the innocent homeless migrants!

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With The End Of Sea Rescue Operations, Migrants Death Will Increase: U.N.

The International Organization for Migration reports more than 2,100 people have died making the dangerous sea crossing from Libya to Europe this year.

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Refugees, Migrants
Lifejackets piled on this Greek beach have come to stand for the rigors and danger that migrants face trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe. VOA

Leading U.N. humanitarian agencies warn migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea will multiply with the end of sea and rescue operations by Doctors Without Borders and its partner SOS Mediterranee.

The two international charities were pressured by the European Union to put their ship, the Aquarius into dry dock and abandon their life-saving rescue mission.

The Aquarius has been docked in Marseille, France, since early October after Panama revoked its registration at the behest of the right-wing, anti-immigration Italian government.

Refugees, Migrants
In this Aug. 27, 1994 file photo, U.S. Coast Guard crew from the cutter Staten Island are hindered by rough seas in the Florida Straits as they attempt to rescue Cuban refugees. VOA

Italy claims these operations encourage migrants to make the perilous sea journey. It says ending these activities will save lives, a claim hotly disputed by U.N. officials.

UN refugee agency spokeswoman, Shabia Mantoo, says search-and-rescue capacity needs to be reinforced rather than diminished.

“So, we do continue to call strongly for increasing search-and-rescue capacity in the Central Mediterranean and for leaving space for NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) to contribute in a coordinated manner to these efforts,” said Mantoo. “Saving lives is our primary concern.”

Since it began operations in February 2016, the Aquarius has helped nearly 30,000 refugees and migrants in distress find a safe haven. U.N. Human Rights Spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, tells VOA she is deeply concerned by recent developments.

Refugees, Migrants
Representational Image of Refugees. Wikimedia Commons.

“The provision of support and assistance to migrants must not be criminalized,” said Shamdasani. “The decrease of search-and-rescue by humanitarian organizations and States failure to provide adequate search-and-rescue capacity is resulting in an increase of migrants, an increase of vulnerability of migrants at sea.”

Also Read: Refugees’ Entitled To Claim The Right To Asylum in The U.S: U.N.

Shamdasani says the death rate in the Central Mediterranean this year is much higher than in previous years. She says States must protect the lives and safety of migrants and ensure those who are at risk are rescued and offered immediate assistance.

The International Organization for Migration reports more than 2,100 people have died making the dangerous sea crossing from Libya to Europe this year. This is nearly two-thirds of the more than 3,300 deaths recorded globally in 2018. (VOA)