Is the European Union #WithRefugees? – 20 June Marks World Refugee Day

Written by | Monday, June 20th, 2016

“Each day war forces thousands of families to flee their homes. People like you, people like me,” are among the proclamations voiced in a new petition by the UN Refugee Agency, the UNHCR. To escape the violence, they leave everything behind – everything except their hopes and dreams for a safer future. UNHCR believes now is the time to show world leaders that the global public stands with refugees, and it will launch its #WithRefugees petition on June 20th to send a message to governments that they must work together and do their fair share for refugees.

On the occasion of the World Refugee Day, Frans Timmermans, EU’s First Vice-President for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, together with Commissioners Neven Mimica, Dimitris Avramopoulos, and Christos Stylianides issued a joint statement addressing the world refugee crisis.

The statement points out that it is estimated that about 60 million people are forcibly displaced in the world – as refugees, asylum seekers, migrants or internally displaced persons. In particularly, the statement stresses that “From families fleeing war in Syria, to those escaping conflicts in Africa, the personal fight for survival and security is driving millions of people to move from their homes. Developing countries are hosting the vast majority of the world’s refugee population – over 85 percent – but we also feel the impact closer to home, with more than 1 million people seeking protection in the EU last year.”

EU leaders added that World Refugee Day commemorates the plight of these men, women and children. The Commissioners emphasized that the EU “has not and will not turn a blind eye to this crisis and we will continue to share in the global efforts to address it” as the EU institutions are “continuously looking at ways to strengthen our humanitarian response and increase our support to refugees, internally displaced people and the millions affected by crisis around the world.”

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