Anglicans asked to speak up for Syrian children

Syrian children in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Photo: ACT Alliance/Lutheran World Federation/Magnus Aronson
Syrian children in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Photo: ACT Alliance/Lutheran World Federation/Magnus Aronson
Published March 25, 2013

Members of the Anglican Communion are being asked to sign a petition asking the BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa- to urge Syria’s leadership to allow humanitarian aid to reachcivilians.

Four million people trapped in Syria needhumanitarian aid, more than 2 million of them children. Schools andhospitals have been destroyed. According to Mandeep Tiwana, Policy andAdvocacy Manager of CIVICUS (World Alliance for Citizen Participation,South Africa) who initiated the petition, children as young as eighthave been used as human shields, and one in every three Syrian childrenhas been injured.

Mr Tiwana said: “Syrians need food andmedicine, but the UN says it needs permission from the Syrian regime todeliver aid across borders into rebel controlled areas. Assad refuses toconsent to such access. The BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China, SouthAfrica – are the only powerful governments left able to compel him todo so.

“We are hoping for signatures from Anglicans andEpiscopalians around the globe – the petition will be delivered to theBRICS countries who are meeting at their annual summit March 26-27 inDurban, South Africa.

“In addition to the petition, we willalso be running a social media campaign next week in which we will beco-ordinating a global call on Twitter for 26 March. The exact tweetwhich includes a link to an open letter from influential BRICS voicesthat we will be asking people to use on the day is ‘Pls RT: Sign the petition & call on leaders of the #BRICS countries to save #Syria’s Future Today’

“We hope that digital Anglicans will want to help us spread the word online too.”

The petition reads:

“To the governments of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa: “Asconcerned citizens from around the world we call on you to stand withthe people of Syria and send a clear message to President Basharal-Assad that he should grant the UN permission to cross Syria’s bordersto reach civilians in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Unimpededhumanitarian access to all parts of Syria coordinated by the UN andauthorised by the government – to be delivered anytime, anywhere, and bythe most effective means – is a call that no leader, indeed no humanbeing, could in good conscience deny. We appeal to the BRICS todemonstrate their leadership and take one step to easing the horror ofSyria’s worsening crisis.”


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