the Global Refugee Forum takes place between 13 - 15 December 2023 in Switzerland,
it is vital that we have meaningful participation of refugees that can shape
the work and the next steps following the forum. We need to see practical next steps and delivery of pledges
now more than ever.
Global Refugee Crisis is getting worse by the hour. Lots of people forced
to leave their homes searching for homes and safety. Many more displaced
internally across the globe. By mid 2023, we had 110 Million forcibly displaced
people worldwide, out of which 36.4 Million are refugees. There are also 62.5
million internally displaced people that need support now more than ever.
persecution of people for their religion, race, political opinions, sexual
orientation and other reasons and their forced displacement from their homes
continues at an alarming rate. It is extremely heartbreaking and deeply
worrying to see fellow humans denied the right to home and decent life at this
day and age.
to the UNHCR 69% of refugees
live in countries neighbouring their countries of origin. These countries need
to be given support to deliver better welcome.
the International Community gathers in Geneva for the Global
Refugee Forum, we need to see more action than words. We need leaders ready
to go beyond the usual good words and soundbites. We need to see honest
conversations and solutions to the crises with meaningful participation of
refugees that take part in the forum. The Global Refugee Forum should not be
only a talking show. We need to walk the talk and do that now more than ever. We
have had many forums, assemblies, conferences, summits, workshops and seminars
on how to address the worsening Global Refugee crises, yet the number of those
needing protection keeps going up. Time to reimagine the way we address the challenges;
and it is vital the voices of those with lived experiences are taken seriously,
with open hearts and readiness to change the course. We often see promises that
are unfulfilled and even forgotten. We need practical leadership from the
international community, especially from the body responsible for refugees
protection, UNHCR and its leaders.
in the Global North have to show leadership, willingness and practical commitment
to address the worsening crises. What matters most is action and that action
should be now!
is also a need to have more legal routes for refugee resettlement around the
world. The Community Sponsorship of Refugees scheme spearheaded by the Global Refugee Sponsorship Initiative
has grown, but we need more and more countries to adapt the scheme and extend
hands. The launch of Welcome
Corps- Private Sponsorship of Refugees in the USA is an encouraging step
and very promising. There are many promising Refugee Sponsorship Schemes in the
UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. There are Community Sponsorship initiatives and pilot works in countries like
Argentina and Brazil. The Refugee Sponsorship Scheme in Canada has a lot to offer.
We need to see more and more countries
adapting the scheme or finding their own.
also need to see more complementary pathways to extend welcome and avail more
legal and safe routes to support those stranded in camps around the world or
those taking risks and going through treacherous journeys.
need to also see more and more businesses, philanthropies, trusts, and foundations
supporting the initiative so that we can scale up and deliver better and fast.
is time for meaningful participation of refugees; time for action not words;
time for reimagining the refugee welcome movement. The time is now!