Today marks World Refugee Day, a day that in recent years has become needed more than ever. We are currently living in a world where violence is forcing hundreds of families to flee each day. Where atrocities are not only being committed against our fellow humans in the country they’re fleeing but in the camps and countries that are meant to be offering them a safe space.
The hatred and anger towards refugees is mind boggling. People all over the developed world are turning their anger towards the people who need compassion the most. The refugee crisis has given a platform to people who have fears over immigration and enabled a xenophobic attitude to have a ‘respectable face’.
It is time for governments to ensure protection for refugees, an education, a safe space, an opportunity for them to join in with their local communities without fear of persecution.
During World War 2 Europe looked with pride in the way we helped refugees, we accepted them into our countries, to give them a safe space whilst their home was being torn apart. A place of continuing fear and hell. Instead of learning from our past, and building upon a moment of history in which we can be proud we have taken a step back and become those very people we fought against.
On World Refugee Day I would like to say, thank you to all the amazing charities working their arses off to protect and help refugees even when it’s not seen as a popular thing to do. And to the volunteers who are on the frontline taking their time to help in camps, or those at home raising money, spreading awareness and generating understanding and hope within their communities.
Finally, huge hats off to the brilliant Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for being incredibly bold and sticking to their principles. On the 17 June MSF announced that they will no longer take funds from the EU and its member states due to its damaging deterrence policies and their attempts to push people and their suffering away from European shores.
It’s not easy for a charity to turn away c. $63m, about 8 percent of your total budget, I am, however, confident that MSF will continue to grow and prosper and help those that need it, no matter their race, religion, gender or political affiliation.