Each generation of humankind is remembered by their tragedies and their response to it. The tragedy of our times, not so different from that of others before us, is the immeasurable catastrophes put on the shoulders of those fleeing from armed conflicts. Most notably in the recent weeks, wars in Syria and other parts of the Middle East have forced millions of people to seek a safe haven elsewhere. Because of European migration law and policy, many of those refugees succumb while travelling here.
Europe is not innocent in the making of the very catastrophe from which these people are escaping. A catastrophe that is made worse by the brutality of the border regime. In this situation Lund University should clearly commit to a just and inclusive approach to people fleeing war.
“Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution,” says the universal declaration of human rights. In our opinion academia and this university – as parts of civil society – have an important role in safeguarding that basic human right.
The Vice-chancellor of Gothenburg University argues that “it is part of the responsibility of the university to contribute to an open and inclusive society” and that taking part in manifestations welcoming refugees is a way of showing compassion and supporting human rights. The academic leaders of Malmö University has arranged meetings under the heading “How can the university get involved and support the struggle of refugees?” that gathered some 350 people. The campaign is called “Malmö University for refugees”.
The verdict of history was rightly harsh against the students of this university who acted against Jewish refugees during World War II. Today we have the possibility of taking a clear stance for solidarity, inclusion and the right to asylum. We should answer that call!
The signatories of this petition endorse and participate in the “Refugees Welcome” manifestation in Malmö, Stortorget, September 13, and Lund, Stortorget, September 14.
Moreover we request that Lund University gets involved in responding to the present humanitarian crisis by
- Funding and organizing a symposium on this matter, inviting civil society activists in Europe and the Middle East to present and share their experiences with academia,
- Initiating fund raising among Lund University staff and students,
- Showing loud and clear support for campaigns such as “Refugees welcome”,
- Reach out to the refugees to offer our services, e.g. language courses, scholarships, and possibilities to take courses and follow through education and research,
- Commit to a sustainable relation to and solidarity with academic institutions in the areas tormented by war.
Please sign with your name and your affiliation to LU
Initiativtagare: Niklas Selberg (email@example.com)
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