Make a Difference: World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day
Do you have a comfortable bed, food, a country? Although the US withdrew from the United Nations Human Rights Council yesterday, today (June 20th) is World Refugee Day. A day that touches the hearts of all of us. The purpose of the UN declaring World Refugee Day is to bring awareness to the over sixty-eight million displaced people around the world. Fathoming such a large number is difficult. These people are forced to give up everything due to the atrocities of war or they may flee due to the persecution of their race, religion, nationality, social group or their political opinion. I cannot imagine being forced to survive in a refugee camp as the wealthiest countries in the world ignore you. It’s heartbreaking.
Did You Know?
- 51% of Refugees are under 18 years old.
- 86% of the Refugee population is hosted by developing countries.
- 42,500 people a day are forced to flee their home.
- 3,000,000 is the increased number of refugees last year.
- 11,000,000 plus Syrians are displaced due to their country’s civil war.
- 11 The number of Syrian refugees the US took in last year.
Consequently, we have seen the number of the internally displaced more than triple from 21 million in 2005 to over 68 million today. The most significant increase comes from Syria due to its ongoing six-year civil war and the conflicting involvement of other countries. There are more crises areas of civil war and violence such as South Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Colombia. They all contribute to the global count.
The fear of terrorism, Islamophobia, general hatred, and distrust has made it increasingly difficult for these people to find safety. These emotions and fears affect the way individuals, communities, and nations judge who is eligible to receive assistance. The tragedy of it all is that our need to help becomes lost within our prejudices. Even worse is the fact that over fifty percent of the displaced are children.
Make a difference, Change the world
It is the responsibility of humankind to take care of those in peril. We must protect the children. Therefore, if our governments are unwilling to help, we must influence them to change. Also, we must work through other means to find a way to support the refugee. It is a small world, and no one should face persecution or violence. Finally, we should all take a moment to think about how we would feel in their situation. The entire world needs to help those who live only by the mercy of others. I ask that you sign the UN’s #WithRefugees petition to send a clear message to governments that they must act with solidarity and shared responsibility.
In this new political climate, there is a heated debate about illegal immigrants entering the US. This article is not a debate on the subject. However, there is a difference between immigrants and refugees.
Refugee vs. Immigrant
Refugees and immigrants are often confused. There is, however, a significant difference between the two. An immigrant chooses to relocate to another country. The “economic” immigrants move to improve their prospects. Others seek education or unifying with family. An example is the influx of South American laborers, who cross the US border daily to find work.
Refugees are displaced, as we mentioned earlier, due to war or persecution. They are subject to international laws. If they meet the specified criteria, they may receive help from their new country, United Nations or other organizations. Once accepted as a refugee they are no longer subject to deportation. However, if not deemed a refugee, they may be sent back to their homeland, which could lead to grave consequences.
Milana Vayntrub – Refugees in Lesbos
 Nearly three million more displaced year-on-year, warns refugee agency chief, but solutions are within reach, June 19, 2016, UN News
 7 Facts You Need To Know For World Refugee Day, globalgiving.org
 The U.S. Has Accepted Only 11 Syrian Refugees This Year, Deborah Amos, April 12, 2018, NPR
 Will you stand #WithRefugees? 1,908,091 have pledged their support!, UNHCR