World Refugee Day this year is marked by grim record - with the tragic outbreak of war in Ukraine, the number of people around the world who have been forced to flee has now reached 100 million. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC), International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) urge States to learn from the response to the Ukraine crisis and act with the same urgency to support all people fleeing conflict.
It has been heartwarming to see the outpouring of support from European and international policymakers and the public, opening borders to support the 13 million people who have fled their homes since the war broke out in February.
The coordinated effort to protect those fleeing Ukraine demonstrates that a humane response to a refugee crisis is possible when there is sufficient political will. The war in Ukraine provides clear lessons especially for the application of the commitments of the Refugee Convention and the Global Compact on Refugees, argue the three organisations in a briefing shared with donors and policy makers.
“The global response to the suffering in Ukraine must become the global standard for responses to refugee crises. With 100 million people displaced – the greatest number since the Second World War – there can only be room for concrete action, for the extension of solidarity and the guarantee of protection to all refugees, whoever and wherever they are,” said David Miliband, President and CEO of the IRC.
“The great willingness among the European population, local communities, the private sector, and civil society to welcome and protect refugees from Ukraine has been truly unprecedented. This should not be the case: all refugees deserve an outpouring of solidarity and support,” said DRC Secretary General Charlotte Slente.
As displacement continues to rise globally, sustained efforts must be made to promote recovery, selfreliance and durable solutions. “The record-breaking displacement figure constitutes a record-breaking failure. Behind the numbers are families who have lost everything, who are haunted by uncertainty about their future and who are struggling to survive,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of NRC. “The scale of the humanitarian response to the Ukraine crisis has demonstrated what is possible where political will and leadership is shown. It must be shown for all people forced to flee,” he added.
On World Refugee Day, it is vital that we act with the same urgency to support all people fleeing conflict, regardless of their origins, as we continue to support those forced to flee the war in Ukraine. Reception and hosting of people fleeing persecution and war is an obligation, not an optional act of solidarity. DRC,
IRC, and NRC encourage States to work together for joint solutions, live up to their legal obligations to welcome and support all people fleeing persecution, human rights violations and war and contribute to a better international responsibility sharing. The timing couldn’t be more crucial.
Note to editors:
World Refugee Day is an international day organised every year on 20 June by the United Nations.
UNHCR recently published its annual report of Global Trends in Forced Displacement. By the end of 2021, there were almost 90 million people displaced across the globe as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations or events seriously disturbing public order. With the outbreak of war in Ukraine in February, this number has already risen to more than 100 million.
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