Refugees Right to Survive: A Nonkilling Plea

POETRY FORMAT, 14 Sep 2015

Francisco Gomes de Matos – TRANSCEND Media Service

When refugees may die while fleeing from violence where they live,
What assistance to those people do other countries give?

Refugees´ deaths should not become new additions to the calendar of tragedies;
Those ends should be considered as global problems for which there are good remedies

How can countries unite to ensure endangered refugees of their right to be alive?
By creating conditions for those who are forced to leave their countries to survive

When refugees riskily have to cross an ocean or a sea,
How does a humanitarian world dignify their right to be free?

May this be a global plea —
One that impacts both you and me

Francisco Gomes de Matos, Ph.D. is an applied peace linguist from Recife, Brazil. He has degrees in Languages, Law, and Linguistics. He is Professor Emeritus at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco where he is active in the Dom Hélder Camara Human Rights Commission. He is one of the pioneers in Linguistic Rights (author of 1984 Plea for a Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights) and in the emerging area of Peace Linguistics. Currently he is President of the Board, Associação Brasil América ( He can be reached at

This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 14 Sep 2015.

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