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        World Refugee Day, June 20

World Refugee Day, June 20

A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters. (United Nations)

2020 Theme: Every Action Counts

The COVID-19 pandemic and the recent anti-racism protests have shown us how desperately we need to fight for a more inclusive and equal world: a world where no one is left behind. It has never been clearer that all of us have a role to play in order to bring about change. Everyone can make a difference. This is at the heart of UNHCR’s World Refugee Day campaign. This year, we aim to remind the world that everyone, including refugees, can contribute to society and Every Action Counts in the effort to create a more just, inclusive, and equal world. (United Nations)

Newly released United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Annual Report shows:

  • The number of displaced people around the globe reached a staggering 79.5 million last year according to the United Nations’ latest figures. This is almost double the number of people in crisis registered a decade ago, owing to war, violence, persecution and other emergencies
  • This almost 80 million figure is the highest that has recorded since these statistics have been systematically collected
  • this is approximately one per cent of the world’s population: we have never reached this very significant percentage.
  • 8.7 million people were newly displaced in 2019 alone
  • displacement affects all nations, data showed that it was poorer countries which host 85 per cent of those forced from their homes
  • 80 per cent of the world’s displaced people are in countries or territories affected by acute food insecurity and malnutrition; many of these countries face climate change and other disaster risks.
  • 73 per cent of the 79.5 million on the move have sought shelter in a country neighbouring their own, dismissing the regularly politicised misconception, that most migrants and refugees target richer countries far from home
  • seven out of ten of those who are displaced are from Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar
  • 30 to 34 million of the world’s 79.5 million forcibly displaced, are children. Tens of thousands of them are unaccompanied.
(United Nations Report / Vatican News)

António Guterres (UN Secretary-General) on World Refugee Day 2020

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