THEY ARE US – WORLD REFUGEE DAY 2017
The number of people driven from their homes by conflict and persecution has hit unprecedented levels and continues to increase due to ongoing and new conflicts and violence. Desperate people are willing to risk their lives in an attempt to reach safety. They embark on risky and deadly journeys at the hands of traffickers and are subjected to dangerous smuggling practices, exploitation, violence and abuse, in particular women and children. The number of unaccompanied and separated children has also dramatically increased.
Since 2000, 46000 people have died during their journey – with countless more deaths on that have gone unreported. The deadliest is the Mediterranean sea route – of the 2300 migrant deaths recorded worldwide in 2017, 1650 deaths occurred while attempting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, including more than 150 children.
In transit and destination countries, refugees and migrants are met by increasing intolerance and xenophobia, fueled by populist discourse.
Women’s March Global calls for effective and comprehensive refugee and migration policies that ensure the safety and protection of the rights of all migrants and refugees, including of women and girls – access to adequate housing, education for children, language and skills training, and resettlement free from discrimination and violence.
Our new neighbors seek the same secure future for their families that each of us wishes. As our neighbours, they enrich our communities and our humanity.
We stand up for the rights of refugees and migrants and reject the “us vs. them” mentality that feeds suspicion, mistrust and xenophobia. As of tomorrow and until 20 June, we will be sharing the stories of refugees and host communities and organisations that support them.
On 20 June, we will organise an online vigil in memory of the men, women and children who lost their lives while fleeing violence and conflict and seeking a better life.
Break down the walls of fear and mistrust and create a narrative of solidarity.
Because we believe it is possible.
Because They Are Us.
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE
- Contact organizations supporting refugees in your communities and ask how you can help.
- Join local initiatives and events organized on World Refugee Day.
- Meet the refugees and migrants, listen to their experience and their needs, and organize discussion groups and conversations with your friends and colleagues.
- Contact your representatives and call for effective refugee and migration policies that reject a “Us versus Them” mentality and guarantee the rights and successful resettlement of migrants and refugees.
- Join the WM online vigil by changing the your profile picture and adding our frame, which will be released closer to the 20th
In September 2016, the Member States of the UN adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants and committed to launch a process of intergovernmental negotiations leading to the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration at a conference that will take place at the UN Headquarters in New York in the fall of 2018.
Read here for more about the global compact http://refugeesmigrants.un.org/refugees-compact
Listen here to the UN envoy for migration, Louise Arbour – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aa5tvxPNuo
And read her speech here – http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=56710#.WS2V0VKB3Vp
Read about the UNICEF global policy asks for children on the move: – https://www.unicef.org/emergencies/childrenonthemove/files/Refugees_Summit_policy_asks.pdf