Today is „World Refugee Day“, like every year on June, 20th. All over the world activities, campaigns, etc. are planned. It is ever more sad to see that every year the numbers of people who are forced to flee their homes to seek safety inside or outside their countries. Since a few years we can read the headlines „the highest number of refugees since World War II“…. and the numbers are still rising.
Today 65,3 million people are displaced by conflict and persecution – that means 1 person in 113! Every minute 24 people are displaced – 4 times more than 10 years ago! More than half of it are children.
And what do we do about this? Producing ever more articles, campaigns, projects, demonstrations, touching videos. Many people do not want to accept this, but it needs a common global approach to fight the causes of displacement and to support those who have no other choice than fleeing their home.
As Mr. Grandi rightly states: “The willingness of nations to work together not just for refugees but for the collective human interest is what’s being tested today, and it’s this spirit of unity that badly needs to prevail.”
After 2 years working as a humanitarian for Syrian and Iraqi refugees and IDPs in the Turkey, Syria and Iraq, with growing numbers of displacement and people in need of humanitarian assistance, while at the same time funding is cut and so called peace talks are leading nowhere, I am sometimes disillusioned. There is so much to be done, so many solutions to be found and so many people to be supported that it sometimes feels overwhelming. Reading and hearing at the same time hate speeches or racists comments, political speeches or articles, especially towards refugees, all over the world, but especially in the West, I sometimes fear about the direction we are heading to. Like many of my friends and colleagues I will continue the way of supporting refugees and IDPs in the countries where they come from and/or were they stay in the region as well as back home.
I still believe in humanity and in the fact that supporting and protecting children, women and men who are forced to leave their country is a human obligation.
Who are we to believe that it is always ‚the others‘ who have to face the tragedies we only read in the news?
World Refugee Day 2016 – what can we do to not have an even higher number of displaced people June, 20th 2017?