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World Refugee day

Jun 20, 2011, 2:17 PM

People around the globe are today marking World Refugee Day. Around the world, millions of people have been forced to leave their original homes by violence, persecution and conflict. 

The majority of these individuals and their families come from the developing world, and are also especially vulnerable to many dangers. 

The United Nations Refugee Convention of 1951 defined a refugee as a person who is outside his or her country of nationality or habitual residence, and who has a well-founded fear of persecution because of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. 

The prolonged instability in Southern Sudan, Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the current uprisings in the Arab World are all making the refugee issue even more complex to handle.

Refugees do not leave their homes and villages willingly; hence they are forced to do so by conflict or persecution or otherwise.

Faced with an uncertain future, these ordinary people must be given the necessary support and courage to rebuild their lives.

It is sad that a refugee’s life, regardless of age, is never an easy one, with an uncertain future since they are not sure of surviving the conflict or cause of their fleeing. 

20 June is a day on which we think about the world’s refugees, and extend our encouragement, support and respect to them.

Refugees have been deprived of their homes, properties, jobs and everything.

Therefore, as we mark another World Refugee Day, we should reflect on the situation of these innocent civilians.

“Refugees have no protection from their own state - indeed it is often their own government that is threatening to persecute them. If other countries do not let them in, and do not help them once they are there, then they may be condemning them to death - or to an intolerable life in the shadows, without sustenance and without rights,” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon once said.

The ultimate goal of refugee protection is to help find durable solutions that allow refugees to rebuild their lives in dignity and peace.

We believe that all refugees need basic services such as sanitation, health and education and, above all, safety and protection.

Refugee women and girls are, especially, vulnerable to exploitation, and thus need protection from violence and abuse.

The three key things every refugee needs include integration, resettlement and repatriation, so let us help them.