As the world today commemorates World Refugees Day, politicians have been reminded that they need to do more to prevent and resolve conflicts and crises.
In a statement today, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Fillipo Grandi said world leaders are seemingly unable or unwilling to make peace, which has seen more and more displaced people paying the price.
He went on to say that in the past three years alone, some one million children were born into a life of exile.
Said Grandi: “What will their futures hold? What opportunities will they have to achieve their potential?”
He then asked those in authority to speak out and fight injustice, instead of fueling division and fomenting hate.
He noted that in order to resolve this issue, there is a need to find pragmatic and lasting solutions to crises instead of blaming others or vilifying victims.
Grandi added that World Refugee Day is also an opportunity to celebrate the fortitude of refugees.
“Those who have been stripped of everything and yet carry on, often bearing the visible and invisible wounds of war, persecution and the anxiety of exile.
“Over the past several months, a time dominated by the pandemic, we have seen that refugees while needing, deserving and having the right to international protection, safety and support also give back to each other and to their host communities,” he said.
According to Grandi, during the pandemic refugees have run to the frontlines of the COVID19 response as doctors, nurses, cleaners, aid workers, caregivers, shopkeepers, educators, and many other roles, providing essential services as we collectively battled the virus.
He said: “We have seen them and their hosts selflessly share meagre resources and help lift those in the greatest of need.
“Next month, we will see them in another arena demonstrating what can be achieved if included in society and given the same opportunities as the rest of us: refugee athletes will approach So on World Refugee Day, as we pause to express solidarity with refugees in our communities and around the world, I hope each of us will also acknowledge and admire the drive, determination and contributions made by people forced to flee.”
Over the past year, more than 82.4 million men, women and children have had their worlds turned upside down by war, violence and persecution. The number is the highest recorded in a year.