This extremely harrowing picture – reported all over the world today – was taken yesterday on a beach in Turkey. A boat carrying migrants – including this Syrian three year old – capsized trying to reach the island of Kos in Greece, killing many on board, including this little boy, his brother and mother.
It is a story that has moved and upset many of us today, including myself.
I have a child around the same age as this boy. I know legs like these. I know what it feels like to wrestle shoes onto feet like those, feet that would be wriggling and trying to get away from you before you’d finished. I know what his little face would have felt like to his mother, as her hug turned into a tickle, an arching back and squeals of laughter. I know what his little body must have felt like in the arms of this Turkish police man – a dead weight like the sleeping child I have carried many times. I know the love this little boy’s mother and father undoubtedly felt for their son. And I know that this picture is their nightmare beyond nightmares – the greatest horror any parent could imagine.
As Allison Morris says in her tweet: “That’s not a migrant – that’s someone’s wee baby boy”.