As part of its campaign “When you don't exist,” advocating for the human rights of a growing population of asylum-seekers in Europe, Amnesty International has written a screenplay that aims to shock viewers.
The two-minute video, broadcast online, portrays a group of migrants escaping their homeland. The exiles are Europeans seeking haven in Africa. Their journey dramatically ends when they are arrested by African border authorities and escorted to a detention centre, victims of strict policies aiming to stop the flow from North to South. The scenario portrays a group of London refugees in its English version, Parisian refugees in French, and so on.
The intention is clear: reverse the roles between the North and the South to raise empathy among Western nations for those seeking refuge inside their borders.
Such a scenario was unnecessary. It underestimates the public's understanding of global issues beyond cultural divides. It would be wiser to appeal directly to the concepts of solidarity and human dignity, regardless of ethnicity. Refugees deserve to have their stories told as they are. Moreover, the organization should not underestimate the public's capacity to mobilize for those who do not share their nationality and culture.