Tom Swarbrick 10am - 1pm
Daughter of migrant urges UK to "have some compassion" for asylum seekers
19 August 2020, 16:24
The daughter of a migrant mother and an asylum seeker father called in to LBC with a moving insight into the plight of refugees.
A 16-year-old Sudanese migrant was found dead on a beach in France after disappearing in the English Channel while trying to cross to the UK.
The tragedy comes amid a record number of perilous journeys to the UK with Kent County Council's announcement this week that they no longer have capacity to take in unaccompanied migrant children arriving in Dover.
Kim from St Alban's told Shelagh that she is in a unique position as her mother is a first generation migrant from Italy and her father came to the UK as an asylum seeker during the Balkan Wars.
"I don't think anyone can really understand what was in that poor young man's mind when he started this journey across country.
"A saying comes to my mind from the Dalai Lama; if you want others to be happy, practice compassion, if you want to be happy, practice compassion," Kim said, acknowledging that a balance does need to be struck with the issue of migrants.
Kim said that at the start her parents did need help; initially they did not speak the language and needed time to get on their feet, "but as soon as they could get a job they worked...they provided for society."
"People don't make that trip unless they need to," Kim pointed out, "in an ideal world, people would be happy within their cultures, within their homeland. Unfortunately that's just not the reality these days."
She told Shelagh she'd "absolutely" like to see Britain and France collaborating to do more to solve the migrant crisis.
"As I said there is a balance to be held within reason, there's always more that we can do within this country, there's more that we can do to show humanity and compassion to those that really are in need," Kim said, "although there are a lot of people struggling within the UK, most of us have a roof over our heads."
"In the long term we are relatively safe and that is a big thing."