CAIRO – 20 June 2022: World Refugee Day is a global day established by the United Nations in honor of refugees around the world. It falls on June 20 every year.
This day highlights the strength and courage of people who are forced to flee their homelands to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is also an occasion to mobilize sympathy and understanding for their plight and recognition of their determination to rebuild their lives.
Regardless of who they are, people who are forced to flee must be treated with dignity. Everyone has the right to seek protection, regardless of their identity or beliefs. It is a non-negotiable matter, since it is a human right to seek safety.
Regardless of their origins, people forced to flee should be welcomed. Refugees come from all over the world, and to escape from harm, they may board planes, boats, or leave on foot. However, their right to seek safety remains a constant wherever they go.
No matter when they had to flee, protection remains a right of theirs. Whatever the risks - whether war, violence or persecution - everyone deserves protection and everyone has the right to safety.
Everyone who is forced to flee persecution, conflict or human rights violations has the right to seek protection in another country. Borders must remain open to all persons who are forced to flee. Reducing access and closing borders may increase the risks of the journey undertaken by those seeking safety. People cannot be forced to return to a country where their lives and freedom are at risk. This means that countries should not turn anyone away without first assessing the risks they may be exposed to at home.
People should not be discriminated against at the border. All asylum claims should be treated fairly, regardless of other factors such as race, religion, gender and country of origin.
Moreover, individuals forced to flee must be treated with respect and dignity, as they are entitled to be treated as safe and dignified as everyone else. This includes preserving family unity, protecting people from the dangers of human trafficking, and avoiding arbitrary detention.