Refugee crisis: Tutu Foundation calls for compassion, aid

The foundation released a statement expressing support for refugees from Syria and other countries.

FILE: Incoming refugees wait for a medical check after their arrival in front of the main train station in Munich, Germany in September 2015. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation is calling on people to be compassionate and contribute aid to the refugee crisis across Europe.

Today the foundation released a statement expressing their support for the hundreds of thousands of refugees in and from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It also commends Germany for opening its doors to thousands of refugees seeking help.

In the statement, the foundation says refugees are as deserving of living decent, peaceful lives as anyone else.

It says humanity has little compassion for people they regard as "others".

It adds the refugees did not ask to be terrified or terrorised and forced to flee from their homes.

According to the foundation, all people are responsible and all should contribute to easing the plight of those in need.

Meanwhile, African Union (AU) Chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says, as a parent, she's deeply saddened after seeing images of a three year old boy's body washed up on a beach in Turkey and says its unacceptable that children often bear the brunt of adults' mistakes.

Dlamini-Zuma delivered a keynote address at the Global Child Forum in Pretoria today.

Images of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi's tiny body lying face down sent shockwaves around the world.

His five-year-old brother Ghalib, his mother Rehanna and 12 other people also drowned when two boats capsized.

She says the world needs to eliminate the urgency of having wars when there are disagreements.

"War just visits such untold tragedies and suffering on children, women in particular, the elderly and destroys the country."

The AU chair says it's not fair that children bear the brunt of wars that could be sorted out by people simply having a conversation.