Human rights organization PASSOP welcomes World Refugee Day as we commend the courage of those forced to flee their countries as a result of war, oppression, persecution and other human rights violations. The UNHCR Global Trend report states that currently 6.5 million people are forced to flee their homes. We celebrate the global community’s efforts in working towards securing the rights and safety of displaced peoples.
Today, we struggle with addressing the rights of people who are forced to flee their country of origin. The long-standing debate continues over who qualifies as a refugee. This reality severely hampers the humanitarian efforts aimed at protecting and defending the lives of displaced peoples around the world. The UNHCR defines a refugee as someone “who has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group.” It is imperative to highlight that the narrow definition of refugee has made it difficult for the displaced to receive basic human rights. Those forced to migrate due to economic issues and climate change rarely receive proper documentation. As a result, those who are not granted refugee status are detained, deported, or denied healthcare, education and the proper permits to work.
At a time when those seeking refugee status is at a record high it is of the upmost importance to shine a light on the world’s progress in fighting for the rights and safety of all displaced people. We applaud not only the nations, but also their citizens who have opened their doors to refugees in order to allow them a safe space to dream again. We at PASSOP would like to take the opportunity, to express our love and admiration for each and everyone one of these heroes. Further, on this World Refugee Day, we challenge everyone to stand together as a beacon of light to those oppressed and persecuted everywhere so that they understand they are not alone, and the world can become a brighter place.