Disturbing images of a drowned Syrian child are forcing politicians globally to rethink their refugee policies


Photos of a three-year-old Syrian boy who drowned off the coast of Turkey have sparked a social media storm in recent days. One image of a Turkish officer carrying the child led the front pages of several major European newspapers, becoming a new symbol of the refugee crisis. But the image may have even further-reaching ripples than public outrage. Politicians around the world now seem to be reflecting on their policies toward refugees.

On Sept. 3, Ireland’s minister for public expenditure and reform Brendan Howlin suggested in an interview with broadcaster RTÉ that his country could take more refugees than its initial quota of 600. He added:

Looking across the pictures in today’s papers I am struck by what the Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy said, it really resonates with anybody linked to their conscious now. We can’t but feel challenged by what we’re witnessing. I think there is a requirement for Ireland to step up to…

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