A call for solidarity
In a world where every day violence forces thousands of families to flee their homes in order to survive, it becomes necessary for states to cooperate in improving the living conditions of refugees.
That is why, in 2001, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the United Nations General Assembly designated 20th June as the World Refugee Day. Its purpose is to highlight refugee issues, as well as to celebrate the tenacity and spirit of refugees and how they contribute to their host society.
Since then, on 20th June each year, through a variety of educational, cultural and recreational activities involving the refugees themselves, a tribute has been paid to those who, with strength and hope, overcome enormous difficulties in rebuilding their lives after fleeing violence, war, persecution and human rights violations.
Supporting the economic and social integration of refugees
Refugees can contribute in many ways to their host societies if they have a second chance to rebuild their lives in a new country. Unfortunately, one of the misperceptions about refugees is that they are a burden on their host society.
The examples of Albert Einstein, Isabel Allende, Freddie Mercury, Nadia Comaneci, or Mila Kunis, refugees yet admired, refute this myth. However, refugees should not need to be famous for their talents to be recognized.
This international day therefore invites everyone to address the issue of refugees not as a burden on society but as people with their own skills and talents who are able to contribute to their host countries.
If states adopt appropriate integration programmes, if societies welcome refugees and give them the opportunity to work and integrate into society, refugees, like everyone else, will produce goods, provide services, spend their wages and pay taxes, thus contributing to the wealth and diversity of the countries in which they settle.
Public awareness and the call for the active engagement of all is a prerequisite for the effective integration of refugees and is an integral part of UNHCR’s (United Nations Refugee Agency) work. Only if the local population understands why refugees are forced to flee and why refugee protection is a moral and legal obligation of all countries, will people strive to create an environment and conditions in which refugees can actually rebuild their lives.
Because any integration policy is reciprocal. This means that anyone who doesn’t want to integrate himself is unlikely to integrate, and if his host country doesn’t integrate him, he will not either.
However, the degree of occupational integration is one of the key factors of the economic benefits of refugees in the economies of the countries concerned, and it depends mainly on the integration policies of the host country.
Refugee flows, in the vast majority of cases, are potential labour flows, which should be recognised and well accepted in host societies, which are increasingly ageing and have a smaller working age population. The higher the degree of labour force integration, the higher the country’s GDP, the lower the unemployment rate and the lower the debt-to-GDP ratio. States should therefore promote this integration by allowing equality and labour rights comparable to those of the indigenous population.
However, if there is one thing that should be clear on such a controversial issue as refugees, it is that the human factor should always prevail over the economic factor. Let’s not forget that if it’s them today, it could be us tomorrow.
Around the world, tens of thousands of people join UNHCR celebrations each year to recognize the contribution refugees make to society and to build bridges between those who flee and those who receive them. And so does the Moneytrans team!
At Moneytrans, we want to help these uprooted families who migrate in search of a better life. Thanks to our services of money transfer, phone top-up, ferry tickets, currency exchange, we are proud to allow you to help your relatives in your country of origin.
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