United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) defines a Refugee as
someone outside their country of origin for reasons of feared persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order and, as a result, require international protection.
On June 20th the world commemorates the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of Refugees. International World Refugee Day also encourages the public to extend support for the families forced to flee.
Refugee seeking Refuge
According to statistics, every 60 seconds 24 people decide to flee from war, persecution or terror to find a safer haven to inhale a breath of peace. In a world of a 7.5 billion population, today we witness the highest number of displaced persons.
As a result, according to the UNHCR:
- Around 65.3 million are forced to flee from their homes
- Among them 21.3 million are refugees
- Over 50% of the refugees are under 18 years of age
- The civil war in Syria is the worst humanitarian crisis since 1945
- 80% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries
- The world’s largest refugee camp is located in Dadaab, Kenya, which is home to more than 330,000 people
- The first-ever Team of Refugee Olympic Athletes competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro
Legal Refuge for Refugees
Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights asserts the right of everyone to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution. Following are the cornerstone of modern refugee protection:
- The 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees
- Regional legal instruments like the 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa
In addition they set forth a universal refugee definition and classify the basic rights and obligations of refugees (UNHCR 2016).
The provisions of the 1951 Convention are the primary international benchmark to evaluate the protection and treatment of refugees. In conclusion States bear the primary responsibility of the protection of refugees.
Everyone has a right to live in dignity. As Maslow confirms in his hierarchy of needs that the lower level basic needs of a human being should be satisfied initially. While the first lower level needs are Physiological needs the next are Safety. Former includes air, food, water, sex, sleep, other factors towards homeostasis, etc; Latter comprises of security of environment, employment, resources, health, property, etc; Therefore, every human being has a right to these basic needs.
Consequently, in September 2016, global leaders agreed to work towards a Global Compact for refugees in 2018 where everyone stands together #withrefugees and do their share to ease the burden of mass forced displacement on states.
#withrefugees petition persuades people to ensure that, every refugee:
- child gets an education
- family has a safe place to live
- can work or learn new skills to support their families
You can sign the petition to show your solidarity #withrefugees.