Internal Voices

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World Refugee Day

On World Refugee Day, 20th June, the External Voices team went along to the Fairplay for Refugees Football Tournament to ask organisers, spectators and participants: "Why is this important to you?". Here are some of the responses:

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Football is played everywhere from professional stadiums to schoolyards, from slums to posh suburbia, and enjoyed by young and old alike. Football is the world’s most popular sport, yet as millions gather to enjoy the World Cup, countless children across the world will not have the time to watch a single game - they’ll be hard at work. That chocolate you so like, that cigarette billowing smoke next to you, those new edition shoes you see on children’s feet…all might be the fruit of tiny hands’ labour.

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Each week in Brussels normally begins in the same way. Most people take the metro, the bus, the tram, drive or simply walk in order to move from one side of the city to another. They go to university, do their shopping, or go to work (if they are lucky enough to have a job in the current economic climate). It is a scene similar to that which takes place in any other European city, included some impatience about the traffic or about - presumed or real - public transport delays. Often though, there is no time to think that, at any given moment and maybe not so far away, different itineraries are in operation and that the price paid by their protagonists could be too high.

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 “Foreign workers struggle in Malaysia”. This was one of the headlines from Al Jazeera used on April 12 in order to draw attention to “millions of undocumented foreign workers” currently living in the Southeast Asian state. It is a matter of people hailing from most notably, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal. It is about a mass of people with different backgrounds and life stories meeting with the shared hope of finding better living conditions, jobs and the possibility to help their families back home. The professional situation in which these migrants – a large percentage of whom pay “more than $1,000 to come in to the country” – find themselves in is very often unstable, with a salary unable to guarantee their subsistence. According to Al Jazeera, the situation for some of them is “so bad that Nepal’s ambassador fears many of the unemployed men in Malaysia’s capital will turn to crime to survive.

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The bailout program will be over in May 2014 when Portugal prepares for a possible interim financing program or the recovery of full debt sovereignty after IMF leaves the country. For the past few months articles in some of the most prestigious economic newspapers classified Portugal as “the champion of austerity”, “the new dragon of the South” and another couple of fancy titles that will keep the “markets” (as if these were autonomous) happy, with the country reorganizing its finances and increasing its exports. Yet, is the country actually doing better?

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InternalVoices On Friday June 20, the #ExternalVoices to support Fair Play for Refugees http://t.co/5Zp24AwYC5
Jun 23replyretweet
InternalVoices #NOchildlabour: At the start of the World Cup 2014, raise the red card against child labour! http://t.co/IcTrUacXJL
Jun 12replyretweet
InternalVoices The Mediterranean Sea seems to be becoming a place where thousands of people decide to gamble with their lives. http://t.co/cm1erjDOsA
May 28replyretweet
InternalVoices As the final votes are counted #EurVote spoke with @Matthijs85, member of the European Pirate Party about #EP2014. http://t.co/UietEjBvs8
May 26replyretweet
InternalVoices #EurVote spoke with Socialist MEP @kvanbrempt about unemployment, climate change and the EU's future post-#EP2014. http://t.co/QA6yKJEJhB
May 23replyretweet
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