“On our way back home, on the same train those children would be trying to board that night, we asked for the first time what it must have been like for the brave people who organised the Kindertransport in the 1930s. This led us to the terrible question that has driven us ever since – if this were the 1930s, who today would be organising those critical efforts that saved the lives of nearly 10,000 Jewish children?
Communities in Calais stuck together. Walking around the camp it took us an hour to find “little Syria” and then just 20 minutes to gather 40 Syrians for our first conversation. We asked why they were there, and not in Germany, Sweden or France, and heard for the first time that each and every one was trying to reach someone. They needed aid, and thanks to our amazing friends at the charity Help Refugees, they got it. What they needed most of all, though, was safe passage.”
This is the Rule of Law in action. It shows how access to justice – in the form of access to lawyers, interpreters, human rights defenders, administrative procedures and legal recourses – can change lives. This belief in the rule of law as a check on pure executive power is one of the things that nationalists populists hate most, as it deprives them of the electoral benefit of making political decisions. Yet, as we have learned from the Thirties, access to justice is a key tool for the effective protection of the human rights of each individual, regardless of status, against the oppression of the majority.
Read the full article in The Guardian here.