Foreign Policy Blogs

Issues Ignored

Issues IgnoredYears ago when writing on the plight of the Haitian people, it was evident that the quick global reaction to the 2010 Haiti earthquake may only help Haitians in the immediate term. Other issues like the kidnapping of the Nigerian school girls and the death of Neda at the hands of the Iranian regime received a great deal of attention at the time, only to become buried in stories about nonsense quickly thereafter. The end result of this eruption of immediate attention with next to no long term solutions creates the exact situation that the initial attention tried to avoid, a systemic and persistent oppression of people without power.

The aid to Haiti has been seen as being used to support already wealthy and influential individuals by some in the aid community. The fate of the Nigerian school girls has had some freed, with others still left in bondage. The Nigerian school girls were mostly ignored by international media after a strong and short bout of support for them with no actual or concrete assistance in helping them realise their freedom. The death of Neda has done little to prevent thousands more dying. Even this year with the downing of a civil airline by the same regime, there has been no appropriate support and even what could be seen as a partial submission to the killers of its citizens by officials in Canada. Change cannot be done by immediate actions and almost always gets cast aside later on for the sake of expediency. Still today, the effects of the 2010 Haitian earthquake left thousands in Haiti without proper housing or shelter. Few in Western media has discussed these issues in years.

To challenge a system that does little to invoke change in a society, the long term must take precedence over the short term photo opportunities and meaningless actions by those in control. Perhaps long term solutions are not that evident, but it is almost always the case that short term policies produce nothing more than campaign ads and photos. The reality is that if no one cares, nothing will change, and if that becomes the status quo it will enshrine itself throughout the entire system and culture.



Richard Basas

Richard Basas, a Canadian Masters Level Law student educated in Spain, England, and Canada (U of London MA 2003 LL.M., 2007), has worked researching for CSIS and as a Reporter for the Latin America Advisor. He went on to study his MA in Latin American Political Economy in London with the University of London and LSE. Subsequently, Rich followed his career into Law focusing mostly on International Commerce and EU-Americas issues. He has worked for many commercial and legal organisations as well as within the Refugee Protection Community in Toronto, Canada, representing detained non-status indivduals residing in Canada. Rich will go on to study his PhD in International Law.

Areas of Focus:
Law; Economics and Commerce; Americas; Europe; Refugees; Immigration