World Refugee Day – 20th June 2020
Let’s make a difference this World Refugee Day, accept Refugees as one amongst us.
A refugee is a person who fled his home and country for fear of persecution owing to his race, colour, religion, terror, war or any such extreme conditions. The Refugees are the ones who find it very difficult to find shelter in a land that’s utterly alien to them. Many Refugees are in exile or hiding to escape the effect of natural calamities and man created conditions. Under the Refugee, there are many kinds of people.
For example, people who are internally displaced (people living in a place other than what they call home within their country, Asylum seekers and Returnees). An international day is declared to raise awareness about the state of Refugees all over the world. The United Nations has recognized 20th June of every year as World Refugee Day. This international day is observed worldwide but is not a national Holiday.
Refugees and often confused to be Illegal immigrants. Refugees are different to Illegal immigrants. Refugees, most of the time, have legal papers/proof for people or the Government to understand the reason for their leaving of their home country. Illegal immigrants are the people who are brought from a different country illegally through human trafficking or other means for trade, slavery and other purposes.
World Refugee Day 2020 – History
In the year 2000 on 4th December, the United Nations General Assembly passed a Resolution number 55/76 and decided that World Refugee Day to be observed on 20th June annually all over the world. In the resolution, the General assembly also noted that the year 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. This day is commemorated or observed to honour all Refugees, raise awareness about their state and show support for the cause.
Before the United Nations declaring World Refugee Day, many countries around the world formally celebrated the African Refugee Day. The Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed with the United Nations to coincide the World Refugee day with African Refugee day. This consent is noted in the resolution passed by the United Nations on 4th December 2000.
The World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated in the Roman Catholic Church annually in January. Pope Plus X instigated in the year 1914.
Significance of World Refugee Day 2020
World Refugee Day is all about spreading refugee awareness. Many refugees live in exile to escape getting thrown out of a place, a particular community, a specific religion, race or colour. Their state and struggle for a living are challenging to comprehend. This day was recognized by the United Nations to help such people find a safer place to live, help them to earn and live, and lead a healthy life without any fear.
Many people have fled countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Africa due to Civil war that keeps happening in these countries. They had to escape from their homes to save their life. After a long struggle of many days of hiding, escape and walk, only a few people manage to reach a safe place alive. Many children become orphans; a lot of people have seen many of their family members die in front of them.
These people have to manage to live in Refugee camps where ever they are put. There will be only one person earning some money managing small jobs to maintain the needs of the entire family. It primarily affects children physiologically.
Most of the times, when they leave their homes, they are unable to collect any of their belongings. It makes them illegal immigrants instead of Refugees. To fight out all of these conditions and arrive a winner in life, such people need a lot of love and support. This international day was declared the United Nations in favour of such people, to help support and sustain.
How to Help Refugees?
It is the most common question asked by people. It is certainly possible to do small practical and meaningful things to combat the feeling of helplessness amongst Refugees.
1. Host Refugees and Asylum seekers in your home
If there is an extra room that is lying vacant for a long time, put that room to use. Give shelter to a Refugee. Help them with basic needs. But before you host any refugees, ask for a recommendation from certified Refugee homes recognized by the Government. It makes your help reach the right people in need.
2. Volunteer your Specific Skill
If you are a university student and loves to impart knowledge, Volunteer to teach kids in the Refugee camps. Impart your skills like sewing, painting, culinary skills to such people which will help them earn a living. Put them across to institutions that promote such people make a living.
3. Help Refugees to adapt to the new culture
We have seen it many movies, which portray the feeling of isolation that refugees face due to relocation. They struggle very hard to adapt and adjust to a new culture. In such situations, a small gesture of friendship or mentorship will do a great deal to help them settle down. Volunteer for such activities in the local community groups and do your tiny bit to help.
4. Refugee Scholarship in your University
If you are a student who wants to help the Refugees in their educational needs, check with your university for Refugee scholarship programs, then you can support Refugees to continue with education. Pass on the information to the local Refugee aid communities and help them get through the process of applying for a scholarship program in the university.
5. Employ Refugees
Except for some countries, most of the states allow Refugees to work and earn a living. Find out at your organization if any such policies can help you place such people. Help them to find some agencies that will provide them with small employment opportunities to sustain.
6. Make space for Refugees to Volunteer
If finding them a job is taking time, help them volunteer at some of these local non-profitable organizations. It will help them find a sense of community.
7. Organize Fundraising and Awareness events
Hold small events in your society to spread awareness about Refugees. In the event organize fundraiser programs like a game session, music for a cause etc. The money can later be given to the non – profit organizations to support Refugees or help one Refugee student support his education or Given to a family to help them afford necessities of life.
UNHCR has launched a campaign called ” Nobody left Out-side” to provide shelter to two million refugees. If you are a person who would like to help Refugees by extending monetary support, please feel free to donate to the cause through such campaigns.
Let us make everybody feel belonged. One world, one community and all are our people. Spread awareness and do our small bit to society.