Geneva, 20 June 2023 (TDI): Each year the international community marks World Refugee Day on June 20. The failure to display solidarity that values human life and the rise of xenophobia in the political realm is deeply concerning. The images that have come to define our collective imagination are heart-wrenching.

The sight of lifeless bodies at sea, overcrowded and fragile boats carrying drenched refugees, families desperately scaling barbed wire fences at borders, and the tragic scenes of humanity falling from planes in Afghanistan.

While some, like the Palestinians, have endured generations of displacement, more recent conflicts have forced Ukrainians, Sudanese, Syrians, Rohingya, and Afghans to flee their homes in search of safety and security. Additionally, the thousands squeezed into grimy slums in cities paint a dire picture of the plight refugees face daily.

Also Read : Report on Migrants and Refugees

2023 Theme

World Refugee Day, with its chosen theme of “Hope away from Home,” underscores the significance of actively combining refugees into the communities that have become their shelter. This is especially important after refugees have escaped unimaginable circumstances. Thus, the resonating message of this year’s commemoration carries particular weight. The global community bears witness to unusual levels of displacement.

United Nation Reports

In a report released days before the annual observance of World Refugee Day, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) unveiled staggering statistics that demand urgent attention. Persecution, conflict, violence, and grave human rights violations forced the displacement of 108.4 million individuals worldwide by the end of 2022. These individuals were driven from their homes, leaving everything behind in search of safety and a better life. Among these, a record-breaking 35.3 million were classified as refugees, representing a shocking 35 percent increase.

Adding to the distressing record, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) revealed on June 15 that the Sudan conflict alone had displaced over one million children within a mere two-month period. On that same day, UNICEF reported the devastating news that approximately 100 migrant and asylum-seeking children were tragically trapped in the hold of a capsized ship off the coast of Greece in the perilous Mediterranean Sea.

Across the globe, conflicts are unfolding as increasingly prolonged crises, violence continues to escalate, and climate-related disasters become more frequent. Humanitarian emergencies are worsening as a result. The international community must prioritize, safeguard, and support the rights and well-being of refugees. This is essential to achieve tangible solutions and sustainable peace.