Europe refugee crisis: Businesses take steps to offer support while others are accused of contributing to anti-refugee sentiment

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Business & Human Rights Resource Centre is collecting company statements that recognise the important contribution that migrants and refugees have made to the diversity and economies of Europe over many decades, and call on all European countries to take a compassionate approach to the current refugee crisis.

 

See here for company statements in support of refugees. To share your company's statement, please contact Eniko Horvath ([email protected]).

 

Companies are also invited to share their statements via UN Global Compact's & UNHCR's Business Action Pledge in response to the refugee crisis.

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Article
20 August 2015

Commentary: "Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean 'migrants'"

Author: Barry Malone, Al Jazeera

The umbrella term migrant is no longer fit for purpose when it comes to describing the horror unfolding in the Mediterranean. It has evolved from its dictionary definitions into a tool that dehumanises and distances, a blunt pejorative...It already feels like we are putting a value on the word. Migrant deaths are not worth as much to the media as the deaths of others - which means that their lives are not. Drowning disasters drop further and further down news bulletins. We rarely talk about the dead as individuals anymore. They are numbers...

When we in the media do this...[w]e become the enablers of governments who have political reasons for not calling those drowning in the Mediterranean what the majority of them are: refugees....There are no easy answers and taking in refugees is a difficult challenge for any country but, to find solutions, an honest conversation is necessary. And much of that conversation is shaped by the media.
 
For reasons of accuracy, the director of news at Al Jazeera English, Salah Negm, has decided that we will no longer use the word migrant in this context. We will instead, where appropriate, say refugee. At this network, we try hard through our journalism to be the voice of those people in our world who, for whatever reason, find themselves without one. Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice. Substituting refugee for it is – in the smallest way – an attempt to give some back.

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Article
31 July 2015

Danish companies call on govt. to drop anti-refugee advertisements in foreign newspapers

Author: Local (Denmark)

"Danish companies: Drop anti-refugee ads", 31 Jul 2015

A number of major companies based in Denmark have decided to publicly voice their resentment at the Venstre government’s plans to place anti-refugee advertisements in foreign newspapers, arguing that it will damage Denmark’s reputation abroad. Communications director at Grundfos, Kim Nøhr Skibsted, told Jyllands-Posten that the ads will send a clear signal that Denmark is a “closed country” and make it more difficult for businesses to recruit workers from abroad as well as making other markets less keen on buying Danish products...Administrative director Charlotte Mark at Microsoft Development Center Copenhagen echoed Skibsted’s sentiments...

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