Geneva, 20 June 2022 (TDI): On Monday, the 20th of June, World Refugee Day was celebrated all around the world.
The goal of celebrating this day internationally is to commemorate and distinguish all refugees who leave their countries in search of a better quality of life and often to escape the aftermath of conflict or crisis.
According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), at the end of 2021, more than 85 million people fled their homes as refugees. The majority of these people come from three countries.
The first one is the Syrian Arab Republic. It is the major source country of refugees worldwide. After more than a decade of intense war, a great portion of the country’s population has found asylum elsewhere.
Secondly, there is Venezuela. The economic and political crisis has forced millions of Venezuelans to seek asylum in other countries in the last decade. The majority of its refugees have gone to neighboring countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
Thirdly Afghanistan is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises. Hence, millions of people have found asylum in other countries.
Usually, refugees find themselves living in bad conditions. Lots of Syrian refugees live in camps with restricted access to basic needs such as water or proper nutrition.
Additionally, hundreds of Venezuelan refugees walk thousands of kilometers to cross the border each day. Journeys are usually dangerous.
Furthermore, in most cases, refugees lack sufficient means to finance their journeys. Hence the need to walk or undertake difficult journeys to reach their destinations. Once they arrive, they usually face lots of paperwork and complicated formalities.
Certainly, the mental health of these groups of people is challenged to the maximum. The uncertainty, the danger, and the lack of resources affect their mental balance.
Remarks by the Secretary-General of the United Nations
On its official Twitter account, Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations shared:
International law is clear:
The right to seek asylum is a fundamental human right.
As we mark #WorldRefugeeDay, we must defend the integrity of the international protection regime & never lose sight of our common humanity.
Protecting refugees is a responsibility we all share.
— António Guterres (@antonioguterres) June 20, 2022
Above all, he highlighted the importance of International Law for all people, including refugees. The right to asylum is a fundamental human right. These statements protect the thousands of people that flee their homes every year, escaping conflict.
Moreover, he stated that protecting refugees is everyone’s responsibility. The issue concerns every citizen of the world.
In addition, UNHCR invited everybody to join in solidarity with refugees through its official Twitter Account:
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) June 20, 2022
In conclusion, seeking asylum is everyone’s fundamental right. Conflict and crisis can happen anywhere at any time. And subsequently, refugees should be respected and supported.