Instituted by the United Nations General Assembly, first held in 2001, on June 20th every year the World Refugee Day is now celebrated, to commemorate the approval in 1951 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
An important opportunity to raise public awareness on the often desperate condition of the refugees.
There are 63.5 million “forced migrants” in the world, people forced to flee their homes because of war, violence, discrimination and human rights violations. More than half of them are children (51%). Conflict is the principle cause of this forced exodus.
According to UNHCR statistics, updated in 2015, the figure of 63.5 million people is made up of 3,2 million waiting for a decision on their asylum request, 21,3 million refugees and 40.8 million obliged to abandon their homes but who are still in their own country of origin (internally displaced persons). In synthesis 24 people are forced to leave their homes every minute.
The death boats have become a reality that concerns us ever nearer home, with thousands of migrants coming by sea mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Pakistan, Eritrea, Nigeria and Gambia. Over and above these the very serious conditions of those refugees that remain in Syria, Somalia, Iraq and South Sudan must not be overlooked nor of those who, in the case of Syria, move to the bordering countries of Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan
There are also other areas of the world, even more remote and overlooked, where thousands of people live in refugee-like conditions: for example Kachin, a northern state of Myanmar on the border with China, where civil war has been rife for years without any attention from the international community.