WORLD REFUGEE DAY – 20 June 2024

World Refugee Day, observed annually on 20 June, honours the strength and resilience of those who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, persecution, or natural disasters.   This day seeks to encourage greater awareness of the need that we, as a global community, come together in solidarity with the refugees and others displaced people and advocate for their fundamental human rights as well as support their journey towards a better future.

Ahead of the UN’s World Refugee Day 2024, Pope Francis has called for called for better treatment for refugees. Speaking at the end of his weekly General Audience, the Pope called for the World Day to be “an opportunity to turn an attentive and fraternal gaze to all those who are forced to flee their homes in search of peace and security.”

“We are all called to welcome, promote, accompany and integrate those who knock on our doors, I pray that States will strive to ensure humane conditions for refugees and to facilitate integration processes.”

This is the 12th consecutive annual increase and reflects both new and mutating conflicts and a failure to resolve longstanding crises. The figure would make the global displaced population equivalent to the 12th largest country in the world, around the size of Japan.

At the end of 2023, an estimated 117.3 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing the public order. Based on operational data, UNHCR estimates that forced displacement has continued to increase in the first four months of 2024 and by the end of April 2024 is likely to have exceeded 120 million.

The increase to 117.3 million at the end of 2023 constitutes a rise of 8 per cent or 8.8 million people compared to the end of 2022 and continues a series of year-on-year increases over the last 12 years.

One in every 69 people, or 1.5 per cent of the entire world’s population, is now forcibly displaced. This is nearly double the 1 in 125 people who were displaced a decade ago.  

Click to view the UN Video below

 “The synodal path that we have undertaken as a Church leads us to see in those who are most vulnerable – among whom are many migrants and refugees – special companions on our way, to be loved and cared for as brothers and sisters. Only by walking together will we be able to go far and reach the common goal of our journey.”    Pope Francis

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