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Stop the drownings

To the EU leaders and all Heads of State and Government worldwide:

We, citizens from around the world, call on you to lead the world to a humane 21st century global refugee policy that saves lives and protects the people fleeing war and hunger. We urge you to significantly increase the number of refugees to be hosted in your country, and work with the European Union to ensure refugees are resettled and relocated across Europe in a way that shares responsibility across the EU and reunites families, and give financial and technical support to countries on the frontline of the crisis like Greece and Italy, and oppose any military action that hinders rescue efforts or puts those seeking sanctuary at risk.

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This image of a tiny baby lying lifeless on the shore is, like so many, too heartbreaking to watch. What’s really appalling is that instead of being shocked to take urgent action, our leaders are stuck in a fighting match on whose problem this is. But for the first time ever, there’s a glimmer of hope for a solution.

After massive public calls to welcome refugees, German Chancellor Merkel is leading efforts to deliver a new, strong European Union plan that would give refuge to people fleeing war and hunger. France is on board, but shamefully the UK, Hungary, and other Eastern European countries have been blocking this emergency action. Whether EU politicians lead the world to a humane 21st century refugee plan, or turn their backs, depends on how much they feel the public demands it. That’s where we come in.

Right now we are at a tipping point. It’s time for us to lead our leaders. EU Ministers are meeting in the next few days to set their positions, so there’s no time to lose. Join the call for a plan to give these terrified families safe haven now -- Avaaz will deliver our proposal to all key decision makers before their summit.

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