The number of refugees fleeing their countries to escape global conflicts increased by more than 2 million since last year reached 70.8 million at the end of 2018. Because today, on World Refugee Day, it is important to remember that leaving your country is never a willing decision, that refugees sometimes have to travel hundreds of kilometres in dangerous conditions and that today, more than ever, it is necessary to reach them. On this special day, we want to show our support to the displaced families and honour the courage of each refugee.
A day to better understand the situation
In the actual migration context, where the number of refugees is reaching record levels, this world day is even more relevant. And one of World Refugee Day main objectives is to raise awareness of the situation and difficulties faced by the refugees. This begins by recalling the definition of refugee. According to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, a refugee is “someone who fled his or her home country owing to a ‘well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion”. Refugees are forced to leave their homes and have no other motivation than security. Moreover, 80% of them migrate to a country close to their country of origin because they leave everything behind them: their home, their personal belongings, their habits… and sometimes, they travel hundreds of kilometres with little or no water or food to try to escape conflicts. These people are men, women but also children.
We can all contribute, each on our own scale, to guaranteeing them decent living conditions, away from danger. Taking refuge to another country is not a new phenomenon and, in the history, we have already witnessed cases of migration because of international or national conflicts. We may all have ancestors who have experienced being refugees. And we should not forget that one day, we can also end up in such a situation.
Among the countries that receive the most refugees are Germany, Austria, Sweden, Luxembourg, Malta, Cyprus and where our Moneytrans headquarters are located: Belgium. The Belgian country is one of the most welcoming countries in the EU, there more than half of the applications submitted were approved granting refugee status, and up to 1310 refugees in Belgium were able to be resettled!
Developing the Global Compact on Refugees
World Refugee Day is also the opportunity for the United Nations to raise the visibility of the Global Compact on Refugees. Adopted at the end of 2018, it aims to strengthen the international response to the massive refugee movements that have been increasing in the recent years. Based on fundamental principles of humanity and solidarity, its objective is to ensure a better protection and assistance for refugees. It is structured around four objectives:
- Ease the pressures on host countries.
- Enhance refugees’ self-reliance.
- Expand access to third-country solutions.
- Support conditions in countries of origin for a return in safety and dignity.
It is also a reminder of the rights of refugees to seek asylum and try to find ways to help them in the administrative procedures!
This year, the theme of the World Day is “step with refugees”. Therefore, the UN Refugee Agency decided to launch the #StepWithRefugees initiative to raise awareness of the extreme conditions in which refugees are travelling. The United Nations invites you to walk, cycle, swim or run a distance of one kilometre in support of displaced families. The final goal is to travel a total of 1 billion miles (about 1.69 kilometres) which is equivalent to the number of kilometres travelled each year by the refugees to reach the nearest point of safety. On the #StepWithRefugees website, you can also read testimonies of their experience, a way to better understand how and why millions of people are forced to leave their homes. And because at Moneytrans we believe that it is important to share these stories to honour their courage and determination and to make people aware that immigrating or taking refuge in another country is never easy, we invite you to read the story of Alain, one of our clients in Spain!
Because when we put ourselves in someone’s else shoes, we can better understand the situation and take a step forward to shape a better future. Don’t hesitate to show your support and take part in the #StepWithRefugees initiative!
At Moneytrans, we want to add our grain of sand by sharing initiatives that promote education, women’s empowerment and tolerance and by sharing the experiences of those who have the courage to immigarte. We are not just a money transfer company; we are much more! Discover all the actions that we carry and JOIN OUR CHALLENGES!