Update your Cookie Settings to use this feature.
Click 'Allow All' or just activate the 'Targeting Cookies'
By continuing you accept Avaaz's Privacy Policy which explains how your data can be used and how it is secured.
Got it
We use cookies to analyse how visitors use this website and to help us provide you the best possible experience. View our Cookie Policy .

Monday, September 14th


Tima Kurdi, aunt of Aylan, calls on European politicians to offer sanctuary to refugees


(Brussels) Tima Kurdi today joined Avaaz-members to deliver an urgent call to European politicians to open the borders to those seeking sanctuary and back a humane refugee policy fit for the 21st century.


Kurdi spoke next to a giant citizen’s Refugees Welcome Wall at Place Schuman in the centre of Brussels ahead of Europe's Home and Interior Ministers’ meeting. Ministers are set to decide today whether to approve President Juncker's new emergency plan, which includes the relocation of 120,000 more asylum seekers.


Tima Kurdi, aunt of Alan*, said:

“It’s too late for Alan and Ghalib and Rehanna, but it’s not too late for thousands of children and their families who risk everything trying to reach safe haven. The world has to do more. Instead of putting up fences, I appeal to Europe and the world’s politicians to open their doors. They’ve neglected these refugees for far too long, it’s time for action now and a shared plan to save them from war and misery."


Alan Kurdi’s aunt Tima Kurdi will be meeting senior European Ministers and MEPs, while she is in Brussels where she will be delivering the Avaaz campaign signed by 1.2 million people, calling on Europe to endorse a fair, ambitious and urgent plan of action.


Luis Morago, campaign director for Avaaz speaking in Brussels said:

"This is a battle between two Europes, while one is embracing our values of solidarity and diversity, the other is spreading fear and division. Juncker's emergency plan to relocate 160,000 asylum seekers must be the floor not the ceiling in Europe's response. The barbed-wire response from Hungary to this crisis is shameful. 1.2 million people are calling on Europe to endorse a humane, 21st century refugee policy. "


Avaaz is calling on European leaders to:

  1. Back President Juncker's new emergency relocation proposal as a first step.

  2. Guarantee legal and safe ways for refugees to seek asylum in Europe.

  3. Drastically increase resettlement and relocation of refugees in a way that reunites families and shares responsibility across Europe.

  4. Give urgent financial and technical support to countries on the frontline of the crisis.

  5. Maintain adequate search and rescue capacity along the migration routes to the EU.

  6. Ensure any security actions do not put those seeking sanctuary at risk.


The delivery of the global petition today is part of a 6 month refugee campaign. Avaaz has:

  • Run hard-hitting national campaigns across Europe influencing governments to improve policy and agree to welcome more refugees.

  • Organised over 5,000 citizens to offer homes and other assistance, and push local councils to accept refugees in Britain, France, Italy, Greece, Spain and Malta.

  • Funded an effort to collect over 300 unaccompanied minors being held on Greek islands and bring them to safety.

  • Delivered aid to refugees on the islands of Kos and Leros.

  • Granted €500,000 to the biggest private search and rescue operation, MOAS.


For interviews, photographs and b-rolls and other requests, please contact:

Daniel Boese on +491778405700 or daniel.boese@avaaz.org


* Tima Kurdi, Alan’s aunt says that his name was Alan, not Aylan (the name given to him in Turkey) hence the use of Alan in the main body of this press release


With more than 40 million members, Avaaz is the biggest global citizen movement working to ensure the views and values of the world’s citizens inform global decision-making.