Request BBC use the correct term Refugee Crisis instead of Migrant Crisis
This petition had 72,384 supporters
We kindly request that the BBC use the term Refugee Crisis instead of Migrant Crisis when referring to the current crisis in Europe. The word Migrant is not an accurate description in any English language dictionary. Only by properly describing the problem can we correctly address it and find a real solution. One word can make all the difference.
Why the BBC?
The BBC is one of the world’s most influential and respected news sources and it is not appropriate that they misreport on the current crisis in Europe. By asking them to use the correct word hopefully other news agencies will follow their example.
Why the word Refugee?
All the prominent English language dictionaries define a migrant as someone who moves from one country to another in search of work and better living standards. A refugee, on the other hand, is defined as someone who is forced to leave their country in order to escape war and persecution. It is evident that almost all these people are fleeing war-torn regions, particularly the current war in Syria.
Why is wording important?
As the author Barry Malone writes: "It is not hundreds of people who drown when a boat goes down in the Mediterranean, nor even hundreds of refugees. It is hundreds of migrants. It is not a person – like you, filled with thoughts and history and hopes – who is on the tracks delaying a train. It is a migrant. A nuisance."
The term migrant does not properly describe the horror currently unfolding in the Mediterranean. Nor does it properly describe these people’s motivation for risking their lives to cross the sea or try to pass under the channel tunnel. It dehumanizes. Only by saying what it really is, a Refugee Crisis, can we have any hope of understanding the issue and finding a real, long-term and humane solution.
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