The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has started a petition tagged #WithRefugees to mark World Refugee day, today Monday, June 20 2016.

The petition seeks to send a clear message to governments across the world that they must act with solidarity and shared responsibility when it comes to the lives of refugees.

According to a statement released by the website of the UN agency, everyday war forces thousands of families to flee their homes:

“To escape the violence, they leave everything behind – everything except their hopes and dreams for a safer future. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency believes that all refugees deserve to live in safety.”

The #WithRefugees petition will be delivered to UN headquarters in New York ahead of the UN General Assembly meeting on September 19. The petition asks governments to:

– Ensure every refugee child gets an education.
– Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.
– Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.

On June 20 every year since 2001, the World Refugee Day is celebrated around the world. It is a day dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

It came about when on 4 December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001, 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day.

The resolution noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

Nearly 60 million people are displaced worldwide. Each day thousands more flee their homes. UNHCR is primarily in charge of the affairs of refugees. It seeks to protect and assist refugees, forcibly displaced and stateless people.

By standing #WithRefugees, you help counter xenophobic rhetoric and send world leaders a clear message
to do their fair share to find bold, humane and innovative solutions for refugees.

Sign the petition here:

Author: Ope Adedeji