Sunday, February 13, 2005

Respect and dignity

From: Georgina@...
Date: Thu Oct 14, 2004 7:55 am

I really appreciate you efforts, and understand you dilemas, i alsodisagree with this disrespectful, tokenist attitude. Thisis the letter i wrotethem:Dear UNHCR,
I am a student currently working on a research project, interviewing refugeefamilies in Australia. While it is the case that these people are kept inpoverty even in western countries, due to language barriers, lack of education,no work experience, qualifications not being recognised and social isolation,not to mention other disadvantages, such as starting off in debt, and the traumaof coming from a war situation. It is still the case that poverty was not thereason for them leaving their home to begin with. In fact i would argue that itis "first world", western countries, trying to gain control of the resources inthe third world, that is creating wars, and displaced persons. In fact, it isthe need for growth in capitalist economies, which means that free tradepolicies are promoted, and globalisation and exploitation of poorer countries(rich in resources, but made poor through dept to the IMF/ world bank) occurs.Therefore it is disgusting to imply, that by taking tokenist amounts of moneyback of the western countries, will solve any poverty crisis in the "thirdworld" or help refugees find security and peace.For this reason I seriously recommend that you reconsider your approach. Whileaid to poor countries is necessary, perhaps we should stop exploiting them,taking their resources, and undermining their way of life, which is moresustainable to begin with. Perhaps we should be promoting respect of otherculture, and ways of living, and perhaps we should be reconsidering our ownposition, and how we are creating this poverty, through the uneven distributionof wealth and resources, which cannot be resolved with a free market economy,which does not allocate resources efficiently to areas needed, rather to areaswhere profits can be made. This actually undermines the ability to continue, aseventually there won't be enough consumers, and we won't be able to produceenough. Resources are finite, we must be investing in new forms of energy, andpressuring corporations, rather than working on levels being effected by this.We must change that which is creating poverty and wars and refugees, namely theunsustainable nature of capitalism.Thank you for you time.SincerelyGeorgina Watney(student and researcher for St. Vincent de Paul Society, Australia)


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