The refugees fleeing the turmoil in the Middle East lack a lot of things, even basic necessities. One vital, often overlooked unmet need is access to translation help. Without it, refugees and migrants can’t communicate effectively with authorities and aid workers. The resulting communication barriers are further inflaming an already tense situation.
For example, in this article from 09 September, Hungarian police try to control a crowd of desperate refugees, but there is only one interpreter available in the entire train station:
“Police officers, in one horizontal line, rushed toward the crowd of refugees, blocking them from getting through. In broken English, the Hungarian officers tried to get the refugees to “stop” and “back up.” Confused and unable to fully understand the English, the refugees began to yell back in frustration. Children sitting on their fathers’ shoulders cried. Mothers holding newborn babies shrieked.”
Imagine how much more smoothly that scene could have played out if the police and the refugees could understand each other. At every step of their journey, refugees need translation assistance. Here’s how people around the world are helping to provide it. Read more