Wars, conflicts, and persecution are some of the reasons people are forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in a safer place, contributing to the mind blowing refugee displacement statistics. According to the UNHCR, 65.6 million people from around the world have been forced to leave their homes.
22.5 million among them are refugees, half of them are younger than 18 years. There are 10 million stateless people who have not just been denied of a nationality, but access to even basic rights like healthcare, education, employment and freedom of movement.
6.5 million People throughout the world are in need of assistance and protection as a result of forced displacement. As per the IDMC 2016 overview report, in 2017, 40.3 million people have been internally displaced because of conflicts, 22.5 million refugees, and 2.8 million asylum seekers.
Syria, being in its 7th year of conflict, is ranked the highest in producing refugees. In 2016, 5.5 million left the country. Another country that became a source of refugees was South Sudan because of a breakdown of peace. Along with the Middle East and North Africa, episodes of forced migration have swept over to other countries too. Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Gaza all have been victims of forced displacement.
Major Needs of the Displaced
The total number of people victim of refugee displacement from all over the world is growing at an alarming rate. Although thousands of them have been able to return to their homes, many managed to resettle in countries that granted them refugee status. The immediate priority at this moment is to help these refugees with better shelter, healthcare, and quality education. Many countries neighboring conflict zones have welcomed most of these refugees. However, even these countries need financial resources to continue their support.
It is a challenge to find durable solutions for these forcibly displaced people. The best long-term one is to repatriate them to their home countries voluntarily. However, due to a lack of solutions for the political conflicts, this is not always possible. They struggle with poverty, lack of psychosocial support and it takes a lot of time to normalize their status.
Solution to the Refugee Displacement Issues
As mentioned before, the refugee problems can be solved through voluntary repatriation, resettlement overseas or by integration in the country of present residence. Voluntary repatriation is not always a good solution though. When a refugee wishes to go back to his home country, he is free to do so. He only re-enters under the protection of his national authorities.
Most refugees these days wish to resettle in countries like Australia, Canada or the United States. Organizations like the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation or International Refugee Organization are there to help the refugees resettling overseas. They can only help in resettlement, providing a house or finding a job. They cannot help them in the process of assimilation. Anyone living near a refugee can participate in this process.
When a refugee has friends and is part of a collective of people, only then will they feel like a member of the community. To be a refugee is distressing enough, but to be an old or sick refugee is tragic. Although aid, protection, and assistance are available, it is still not enough.
It is high time their concerns are addressed.