Kathmandu, September 2015-The full horror of the human tragedy unfolding on the shores of Â EuropeÂ was brought home on Wednesday as images of the lifeless body of a young boy â€“ one of at least 12 Syrians who drowned attempting to reach the Greek island of Kos â€“ encapsulated the extraordinary risks refugees are taking to reach the west.The picture, taken on Wednesday morning, depicted the dark-haired toddler, wearing a bright-red T-shirt and shorts, washed up on a beach, lying face down in the surf not far from Turkeyâ€™s fashionable resort town of Bodrum.
A second image portrays a grim-faced policeman carrying the tiny body away. Within hours it had gone viral becoming the top trending picture on Twitter under the hashtag #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik (humanity washed ashore)Turkish media identified the boy as three-year-old Aylan Kurdi and reported that his five-year-old brother had also met a similar death. Both had reportedly hailed from the northern Syrian town of Kobani, the site of fierce fightingÂ Â between Islamic state insurgents and Kurdish forces earlier this year.
Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children, said: â€œThis tragic image of a little boy whoâ€™s lost his life fleeing SyriaÂ is shocking and is a reminder of the dangers children and families are taking in search of a better life. This childâ€™s plight should concentrate minds and force the EU to come together and agree to a plan to tackle the refugee crisis.â€Turkish officials, corroborating the reports, said 12 people died after two boats carrying a total of 23 people, capsized after setting off separately from the Akyarlar area of the Bodrum peninsula. Among the dead were five children and a woman. Seven others were rescued and two reached the shore in lifejackets but hopes were fading of saving the two people still missing.
â€œThe problem is very big,â€ said Mouzalas, a doctor who is also a member of the Doctors of the World aid organisation. â€œIf the European Union doesnâ€™t intervene quickly to absorb the populations â€¦ if the issue isnâ€™t internationalised on a UN level, every so often we will be discussing how to avoid the crisis,â€ he told reporters, insisting that the thousands risking their lives to flee conflict were refugees. â€œThere is no migration issue, remove that â€“ it is a refugee issue,â€ he said.