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Jun 20, 2022

Today –World Refugee Day

Foreign Affairs News Desk
Refugees: Image credit UNHCR
Refugees: Image credit UNHCR

The number of people displaced around the world or forced to flee due to conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution has now surpassed over 100 million for the first time on record at the end of May, says the UN High Commission for Refugee (UNHCR).

Hence, the World Refugee Day, on June 20, recognizes all people worldwide who are displaced by conflict or persecution.

UNHCR’s theme for World Refugee Day 2022 is, “Whoever.  Wherever. Whenever.  Everyone has the right to safety.”

According to the US State Department press note, for the millions of refugees and displaced people around the world, some things are improving—such as laws enabling them to work, move, and access services. And some things are getting worse—such as opportunities for resettlement and asylum.

The World Refugee Day is a day to raise awareness on the status of refugees and people on the move due to the unbearable challenges they faced during their life journeys in their countries.

The aim of the day is to step up efforts worldwide to ensure everyone everywhere at any time is able to enjoy the right to live, including access high-quality health services that are sensitive to their needs, and appropriate for each person’s culture and needs, without financial impediment.

Then only, refugees and migrants can contribute to the full and flourishing life of a country and to supporting the economy, culture and a diverse society.

As per the report, over 1 billion people are on the move globally which accounts about 1 in 7 of the global population.

As per the report, among them, 281 million people are international migrants and 84 million are forcibly displaced (48 million are internally displaced, 26.6 million are refugees, 4.4 million are asylum seekers). Among the forcibly displaced, 35 million are children and 1 million were born into refugee life.

However, due to poverty, lack of security, lack of access to basic services, conflict, environmental degradation and disasters, the number of people on the move is expected to grow.

Refugees and migrants often face various barriers including language and cultural differences, institutional discrimination that led to social, political and economic exclusion and exploitation.

According to the report, Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar are the countries with the highest number of refugees fleeing in 2021.

And Turkey, Colombia, Uganda, Pakistan and Germany are the countries that host the highest number of refugees.

It is also mentioned that, in the first 5 weeks since the Russia-Ukraine War began on February 24, 2022, over 4 million Ukrainians crossed borders into neighbouring countries and many more have been forced to move inside the country.

Likewise, in 2020, the top countries of origin for international migrants were India, Mexico, Russia, Syria and China.

The United States of America has been the main destination for international migrants since 1970 and Germany is the second top destination.

Yes, refugees and migrants often come from communities affected by war, conflict, natural disasters, environmental degradation or economic crisis. They undertake long, exhausting journeys with inadequate access to food and water, sanitation and other basic services, which increases their risk of communicable diseases, particularly measles, and food- and waterborne diseases.

They may also be at risk of accidental injuries, hypothermia, burns, unwanted pregnancy and delivery-related complications, and various noncommunicable diseases due to the migration experience, restrictive entry and integration policies and exclusion.

Refugees and migrants may also be at risk of poor mental health because of traumatic or stressful experiences. Many of them experience feelings of anxiety and sadness, hopelessness, difficulty sleeping, fatigue, irritability, anger or aches and pains but for most people these symptoms of distress improve over time.

Whatever be, World Refugee Day must be explored to improve the lives of millions of displaced people across the globe.

The United States is the world’s largest donor for humanitarian assistance to the refugees. According to the report, the US has provided over US $13 billion assistance for the UN refugee agency during Fiscal Year 2021.

Meanwhile, a UN human rights expert urged the United Kingdom to halt its controversial policy of transferring some asylum seekers to Rwanda and expressed serious concern that the two country’s asylum partnership arrangement violates international law, and risks causing irreparable harm to those seeking international protection.