Every June 2o, we celebrate World Refugee Day. This day recognizes the bravery, strength, and perseverance that refugees exhibit in their quest for a better life for themselves and their families.
What is a Refugee?
The basic definition of a refugee means a person who has fled their homeland. The most important thing to remember is that the word refugee represents a human being. International law defines refugees as a person who has left the country that they called home out of a justified fear for their lives, safety, or wellbeing. Refugees may flee their country to escape persecution because of their religion, race, nationality, political affiliations, social status, or belonging to a particular group. They may also live in areas that are war torn.
There are approximately 65.6 million people who are displaced worldwide. That means that every single day, over 28 thousand people become refugees to avoid the conflict. 22.5 million refugees are children under 18. Becoming a refugee is not an easy decision. People give up everything just to survive, or better their chances of a future free of violence and conflict. Over half of the world’s refugees come from only three countries, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Syria.
Learn About Statistics on World Refugee Day
Looking at the total world population, about one in every 100 people has been displaced from their homes. The level of displacement by country is greater in certain places in the world than others. In the Middle East, about one in twenty people has been forced to flee their homes. Approximately one in sixty people has been displaced in Africa. In Syria, six out of ten people have been displaced. This number is the highest rate of people becoming refugees in recent history.
In 2011, the number of Syrian refugees hovered just below one million. Now, there are over twelve and a half million Syrian refugees who have had to flee their homes and find shelter somewhere else in their country, neighboring countries, or abroad. The number of unaccompanied minors who are seeking asylum has also risen. Over half of the asylum seeking, unaccompanied minors are refugees from Afghanistan. In Europe, nearly 200,000 unaccompanied minors sought asylum between 2008 and 2015. 48 percent of those 200,000 were from 2015 alone.
Developing nations host over 85 percent of refugees. Africa hosts 29 percent of all refugees. The top five countries hosting the greatest number of refugees are Turkey, Jordan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, and Pakistan. Most refugees do not seek asylum in developed nations, such as the United States or Europe. The overwhelming majority of refugees, nine out of ten to be exact, simply head to nearby countries.
Pakistan or Iran host approximately 95 percent of Afghan refugees. Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq host approximately 95 percent of Syrian refugees. As you can see from these statistics, the overwhelming majority of refugees are simply trying to escape to the nearest safer country. Some of the countries refugees are fleeing to deal with their own conflicts.
Life for Refugees Along the Way to a New Country
Life for refugees is often full of trauma. Refugees often experience some sort of trauma in their home before they leave and may face traumatic experiences along their way to a new life.
For example, many refugees:
- Experience separation from their families and friends
- Endure catastrophic loss
- Lose their homes and their sense of familiarity
- Give up the lives they previously built
- Often leave all or most of their possessions behind
Refugees often face poverty, and the chaos of an unsettled life. It can be extremely taxing to live in a constant state of desperation for and anticipation of a new life. Some children grow up in refugee camps and don’t know anything about life outside their camp. Refugees are extremely vulnerable. Refugee camps often lack protection from many kinds of abuse, making women and children easy targets for people who work in the refugee camps or other people living there. Thus, it is important to emphasize this vulnerability when discussing World Refugee Day.
World Refugee Day and the United States
A network of communities often helps refugees settle in the United States. These networks typically consist of others who have gone through the same situation and established their lives. There are many refugees who have family in the U.S., too. Voluntary agencies help refugees by providing services to help get them jobs, teach them English, get them food and clothes, and whatever counseling or medical care they may need in the first 90 days.
Refugee children are able to attend public schools, and adults are able to get a job. Some government-funded services may also be available like Medicaid and federally reimbursed cash assistance programs during the first eight months. After that, they are eligible for the same public benefits and services as legal residents. This eligibility for public benefits and services lasts for seven years. After seven years have passed, they must become citizens in order to continue to receive these services. There are mutual assistance associations, also called MMA’s, which help to connect knowledgeable people in the community to people who are in need of help, or recently arrived.
Refugees want nothing more than to return to a normal life where they can pursue their goals and take care of themselves. They deserve respect, compassion, and acceptance. Their journeys were difficult and their determination unwavering. Differences are strengths, not weaknesses. Diversity makes us better. Refugees should be welcome.
Personalized Cause and our Awareness Blog
Personalized Cause® is an awareness accessory brand that specializes in custom awareness ribbons. Custom awareness ribbons are a unique product that allows our customers to personalize any of our custom pins with whatever text they want. In fact, we are the number one source for custom awareness ribbons that doesn’t require a minimum quantity for personalized ribbons. Custom awareness ribbons are a beautiful and powerful way to support someone during a health crisis when you may not be able to figure out exactly what to say. We also carry classic awareness ribbons, fabric ribbons, and silicone wristbands.
All in all, this awareness blog raises awareness for as many causes and illnesses as we possibly can. This is our way of doing our part to raise awareness on behalf of our customers. With every purchase, you are doing your part to raise awareness for the causes that are close to your heart.
Two different awareness ribbons raise awareness for refugee causes. Yellow awareness ribbons are used to https://www.personalizedcause.com/personalized-awareness-ribbons/yellow-awareness-ribbon-pin-personalized?rq=refugee“>raise awareness for welcoming refugees. https://www.personalizedcause.com/personalized-awareness-ribbons/orange-awareness-ribbon-pin-personalized?rq=refugee“>Orange awareness ribbons are used to raise awareness for the humane treatment of refugees.
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