Following yesterday's post highlighting refugee week,https://teifidancer-teifidancer.blogspot.co.uk/2017/06/refugee-week-19-25-june-2017.html today is World Refugee Day which honors the strength and resilience of refugees ,as well as their contributions to societies that welcome them. World Refugee Day has been marked on 20 June, ever since the UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.
The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in over 100 countries, involving government officials, aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves. Never before have the immediate needs of vulnerable children and their families been so great. Some 20 million refugees half of whom are children, have been forced to flee violence, poverty and persecution from places such as Syria, Somalia, South Sudan and Central African Republic taking perilous sea voyages over the Mediterranean. According to the International Organisation for Migration, over 20,000 migrants have died in their attempts to reach or stay in Europe since 2000, and according to the United Nations, only one per cent have been resettled. It is imperative that they should be given help, protection and long term solutions.
Together, we should be creating an outpouring of compassion and show individual refugees that they are welcome here. but the persecution of refugees continues, whipped up by forces of racism spreading fear and misinformation about security and terrorism. The EU Referendum campaign has recently sadly contributed to this, unleashing some of the most heinious manifestations of racism we have seen in generations. Those on the far right across Europe are eager to use the crisis to further scapegoat immigrants.
It is worth remembering that there are 65.6 million displaced people around the world – that’s more than the population of the UK. As continuing tragedy unfolds, some of the countries most able to help are shutting their gates to people seeking asylum. Borders are closing, pushbacks are increasing, and hostility is rising. Avenues for legitimate escape are fading away. Since the beginnings of civilization, we have treated refugees as deserving of our protection. Whatever our differences, we have to recognise our fundamental human obligation to shelter those fleeing from war and persecution. It is time to stop hiding behind misleading words. Richer nations must acknowledge refugees for the victims they are, fleeing from wars they were unable to prevent or stop. History has shown that doing the right thing for victims of war and persecution engenders goodwill and prosperity for generations. And it fosters stability in the long run.
The world needs to renew its commitment now to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its principles that made us strong. To offer safe harbor, both in our own countries and in the epicentres of the crises, and to help refugees restore their lives. In a world where violence has forced hundreds of families to flee each day.
The the UN Refugee Agency believes now is the time to show world leaders that the global public stands with refugees, it has set up the #WithRefugees petition, entreating world leaders to ensure every refugee child gets an education, every refugee family has somewhere safe to live and every refugee can work or learn new skills to support their families. You can sign the petition here.
Several charities work to support the rehabilitation of refugees, including Oxfam, and Refugee Action; all of which you can donate to. and it will launch its
Those who leave everything behind for the purpose of living in peace need our support and solidarity. Today and tomorrow we must continue to stand up for refugees. We must remember that arms trade helps exacerbate the crisis, plus poverty and inequality, war and conflict, we need to build bridges not more obstacles and borders. Refugees have suffered unimaginable loss, and yet they are filled with the strength to triumph over adversity. The refugee crisis is a human crisis. Their story is our story. We are all human,and together, we can build a better world.We all have an important role in ensuring that refugees have the support they need. When we work together, we can help even more people feel safe from conflict, stay healthy and forge ahead to a better, stronger future.
Denounced - persecuted - exiled - dispersed -
Refused - sectioned - detained - certified -
Wherever they seek shelter
They should be able to call home
Having escaped dark shadows
Having travelled through great adversity
Seeking safe harbour,
All should be given warm welcome
Asylum not barbed wire
Protection not bombs
Dignity not criminalisation
Breathe again, beyond pain and grief
No borders are necessary