Let’s Talk: Are these kids right about refugees? 23

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Kids can be so innocent, and so honest. They have an in-built sense of empathy that, as we get older, gets taken over by cynicism and doubt. We forget that sometimes just being kind is the best policy, and to treat others as we would like to be treated.

In this vein, Kids Talk Refugees, a project that brings together kids from socially and culturally diverse backgrounds, asked children about their own thoughts on asylum seekers.

Producer of the project, Heidi Pett, told BuzzFeed News that a main of the project was to reach people who aren’t informed about the news and not interested.

“We wanted to break out of the silos of Australian media and politics… There are people who will watch a couple short videos with kids learning and talking about asylum seekers who won’t read long form analysis or investigative reporting, and we really wanted to reach those people”, she said.

In the video below, kids are asked why asylum seekers should come to Australia, what an “asylum seeker” actually is, what they thought detention centres were like and what boat people were.

“It’s all well and good to talk to cute Aussie kids in an abstract way about whether this is good or bad,” says Pett. “But this is happening to kids their own age who are just as cute and deserving of rights, and I think we forget that sometimes”.

“Quite a few of the kids hadn’t heard of asylum seekers, but had heard of boat people which really says something I think… What really came home to us while making these videos was that kids really shouldn’t have to know anything about our immigration policies, least of all have an intimate knowledge of the inside of our detention centres…”, Miss Pett said.

“There are a couple of scenes where the kids say that people shouldn’t be allowed to come if they were ‘being a punk’ in the wars or whatever, and a few who thought we should screen people for diseases and to make sure they wouldn’t do anything bad, but on the whole there was an overwhelming empathy”.

Take a look below and tell us, do these children have it right? Have they changed your mind about asylum seekers?

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  1. That was great and it really points out the honesty of children, they don’t care about racism or popular opinion, they just tell the truth. well worth watching thanks SAS

  2. The thing that stuck me about that was not only the honesty of the children but they must all have good and caring parents.I was very impressed with the children

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  3. What a lovely place the world would be if these lovely little minds kept their empathy & compassion, well done to their parents.

  4. I wonder if anyone could explain to these children that our government is detaining asylum seeker children in off-shore camps indefinitely and why our government thinks this is a good thing.

  5. Interesting Rod Faithful — I don’t suppose their thoughts might have been just a little ‘coached’ by you know who!!

  6. Very difficult situation, as the parent or parents of the kids in detention have a suspicious past and background!

  7. It’s a shame parents put these kids on boats knowing they may drown or be imprisoned.. some of these detained kids may grow successfully but others could be scared permanently not Becos if t detention period but fr the crap their family has brain washed them into Thinking t host country owes them a living. Remember in t old days All migrants were put into migrant camps in australia until they found for themselves a job n shelter or sponsored n Fed by friends until t person became stable. So how about that idea. But then t sponsor family I may not trust w my kid. They could enslave it.

  8. I still wonder that if they were told the truth that he U.N. and it’s mates fed All of their parents, who had nothing else to do but procreate, with no protection what so ever, would they have he same view. !!!!

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