No Good Deed Shall Go Unpunished: Humanitarian Organizations that Refugees Targeted Unjustly

"Four activists were detained in Poland on 23 March for aiding migrants crossing the Belarusian border. They currently face three months of pre-trial arrest. “When they helped refugees from Ukraine they were heroes, now for providing that same help in Podlasie, they are criminals,” said Grupa Granica, an organisation helping migrants and refugees, to which the detained activists belong. The organisation said the activists were providing humanitarian aid to a family with seven children who had been stuck at the border for three months." Read more In a recent "Conversation on Ukraine" at Brooklyn College, I said: International migration research: migrants’ and refugees’ experience at borders is mediated by intersection of race, gender, religion, national origin, status, physical ability & sexuality. Politicians’ rhetoric, news analysis, & public sentiments on whom we think of as deserving & entitled to being allowed to easily cross borders and secure assistance affected by these intersections. Consider differences in European leaders’ responses to Ukrainian and other refugees. Explaining the remarkable shift in European responses to refugees following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This piece of news gives further evidence of biased and unjust treatment of refugees based on national origin. It is a violation of international law, which since 1951 has established the principle of non-refoulement: "Under international human rights law, the principle of non-refoulement guarantees that no one should be re- turned to a country where they would face torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other irreparable harm.” Part of what we need to do as a world includes: Embracing and extending full equality for all human beings. Ending structural violence. Engendering global transformation beyond imperialistic, racist, patriarchal, sexist and misogynist, classist, ableist, heteronormative present to truly inclusive future. AND Respect for international laws and norms: Prioritize equitable human security. Go beyond aspirational rhetoric to real life conditions that honors, respects, and values each and every human being.


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