82 Million People, Including 35 Million Children Have Become Refugees

Hangama Amiri, an Afghan-Canadian artist, and former refugee, is the designer of the 2021 World Refugee Day Twitter emoji. © UNHCR/Ashley Le

Why they flee from their countries and how you can help them?

20 June is World Refugee Day, it’s the day of honor the more than 80 million people who have been forced to flee war, conflicts, and persecution and rebuild their lives far from home.

Also, it’s the day to celebrate the people who have opened their countries, communities, and even their homes to those who seek safety and peace.

This year’s theme is the power of inclusion. The experience of COVID-19 showed us that we only succeed if we stand together. We have all had to do our part to keep each other safe and despite the challenges, refugees and displaced people. Only by working together can we recover from the pandemic.

The world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. The latest statistics from UNHCR estimate that there are over 82 million forcibly displaced people worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, or events seriously disturbing public order.

Among these, an estimated 35 million (42%) of them are children; below 18 years of age (end-2020). 68% originate from just five countries; Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.

39% hosted in five countries, Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees, with 3.7 million people. Colombia is second with 1.7 million, Pakistan, Uganda, and Germany following them with over 1 million refugee population.

In responding to and helping the refugees, it is important we understand and appreciate their background, including the reasons why they left home and are on the move. Understanding the background and their reasons for moving may also help us emphasize and support them. That’s why I wanted to share the main reasons why they are fleeing from their countries and what we can do.

The Main Reasons

  • War and armed conflicts — such as children that have been fleeing Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Syria
  • Persecution of a particular social group — for example if they come from a certain ethnic group, or they are indigenous people or a minority in the population. They may be members of a persecuted religious group such as the Rohingya children fleeing Myanmar.
  • Escape from abuse and violence — such as children in Central America who must leave their homes to avoid being recruited or subjected to violence by armed forces or gangs, or when a child is being abused within the family or community and has no one to turn to for protection
  • Natural disasters — for example as a result of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

How we can support

  1. Organize events for your network, employees, or customers and support the refugees around you locally
  2. Promote the refugee-related content, messages, and stories on your social media channels to learn more and increase the awareness of yourself and your contacts
  3. Engage your friends, customers, or employees to take action, volunteer for, or donate to the UN organizations or NGOs supporting the refugees
  4. Showcase what your community is doing to include refugees

Together #withrefugees

Together we can achieve anything

Together we heal, learn and shine

Selim Uysal

Selim Uysal

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦Dad & Husband, 🩹Humanitarian Professional, 📚 Lifelong Learner. I share my learnings on personal growth and productivity. linktr.ee/selimuysal
Turkey