African Politics and Realities

Posts Tagged ‘World Refugee Day

Who cares?

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Yesterday, 20th June 2012, the world celebrated World Refugee Day. What exactly does that mean though? Obviously, it’s not an occasion for celebration, but rather for reminding us that it is out there, that millions and millions are affected, and there is somebody out there (this case-UNHCR) making sure we do not forget.

A couple of days before the Refugee Day, the same UNHCR released it’s annual report on the current status of refugees worldwide for 2011. Bad news! The many pages of statistics and numbers can simply be summed up for those who don’t really want to worry about details, or those who are just starting to care, in one sentence: worst year/highest number of refugees worldwide since 2000!

Whenever we happen to catch a glimpse of an ad or a campaign in the media, or simply when you will image search on Google “refugee” , the first picture will definitely be that of an African child. I for one find it tiring and misleading. I hope you will find the time to care enough to browse through the report so that you can see that the most affected countries are Iraq and Afghanistan, two states apparently undergoing democratization, or so they say-with ups and downs-again they say!

Don’t get me wrong, Africa is still highly affected by phenomena of internally displaced people or refugees. Countries like Sudan or DR Congo are still “topping charts”. What might seem to be quite strange is the constant that these countries have been representing in the report for quite a few good years..why? if people/institutions/NGO’s/ UNHCR/ states care and are working towards alleviating the problem of refugees, how did we reach a record for the beginning of the 21st century?

Truth be told, being a refugee most often than not means that you will remain one for years to come, which in turn means that most of the time the number of people that manage to return to their homes is far less than that of new refugees/internally displaced people, leading to the 2011 high.

I don’t know if it is enough to have a World Refugee Day, if that shows we care or not. but definitely it is not enough!


By Florin Sandu

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Written by fashionroseblog

June 21, 2012 at 12:07 am