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World Refugee Day: ‘Heal, learn and shine’

“On the occasion of the World Refugee Day (20 June), the international community calls to protect and support people who have been pushed away from their homes by armed conflicts, persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion and human rights violations,” said Pierre-Alain Fridez (Switzerland, SOC), Chairperson of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Displaced Persons

“For over half a century, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has helped millions of people to restart their lives. But at a time when we are approaching the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention, almost 80 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes. Among them are nearly 26 million refugees, around half of whom are under the age of 18,” he underlined.

“How can we help displaced people? We call to support the UNHCR 2021 World Refugee Day theme: “Together we heal, learn and shine”. Everyone can make a difference by funding and supporting specific actions. “To heal” we can help expand refugees’ access to mental health services, primary and secondary health care, sexual and reproductive health and nutrition. “To learn”, we can provide refugee children access to quality education so they can pursue better lives. “To shine”, we can use sport to create safe and protective environments where refugees can discover their potential.

More needs to be done to help refugees integrate, to provide suitable accommodation, create opportunities to work and earn a living. We can help refugees feel less isolated and more included in the life of our communities. This is especially important in the particularly challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN Global Compacts for Migrants and Refugees provides a blueprint for action. Today is a good day to remind our governments and parliaments of this, including the specific recommendations of the Parliamentary Assembly in its Resolution 2379 (2021) on the Role of parliaments in implementing the United Nations Global Compacts for Migrants and Refugees,” Mr Fridez concluded.