Tämä blogikirjoitus on osa blogisarjaa, jossa Helsingin YK-nuorten hallituksen jäsenet kirjoittavat YK:n kansainvälisten päivien aiheista. Tämän postauksen on kirjoittanut Miia Seppänen, joka on politiikan ja viestinnän maisteriopiskelija sekä toimii kotimaanprojektivastaavana HYKYn hallituksessa.
This blog post is part of a blog series where board members of UN Youth Helsinki write about subjects of international days of UN. The writer of this post, Miia Seppänen, is a Master degree student in Politics and Communications and works as a homeland project coordinator in the board of UN Youth Helsinki.
World Refugee Day – a call for empathy
Today, 20th of June is the World Refugee Day. According to latest reports of UNHCR, there are over 68.5 million people in the world that are forced to leave their homes. That means there are more people displaced in the world than for example whole United Kingdoms has residents.
When we discuss about asylum seekers and refugees here in Finland, the debate often circles around our point of view: what happens if we take more refugees here? Are we going to have problems because of them? Why don’t we help our own people first? Are refugees really in need of help after all?
They are. One thing that United Nations emphasizes in its policies is that no one leaves their home by choice. War, terrorism, effects of climate change and variety of forms of personal persecution are unquestionably reasons serious enough to force people to flee from familiar neighbourhoods to whole new areas and even countries.
World refugee day is about commemorating the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees. That is a clear call for empathy, being able to think of what it feels like to be the position of someone who has totally different circumstances in life. How would it be like to live in a place that has an ongoing risk for attack? What would it feel like if you had to constantly be afraid for yourself and your loved ones? How brave and strong you would have to be to make a decision of leaving when you have nowhere to go?
Instead of questioning the need for aid and arguing about whose responsibility it is to offer help, today is the day to honour those, who have had to make this hard choice.
You can also show your appreciation and support by signing this petition of UNHCR. The petition asks decision makers to ensure every refugee family has a safe place to live and that every refugee has access to work or education. http://www.unhcr.org/withrefugees/petition #withrefugees
United Nations, World Refugee Day: http://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday/
UNHCR, World Refugee Day: http://www.unhcr.org/refugeeday/
UNHCR, Forced Displacement Record: http://www.unhcr.org/news/stories/2018/6/5b222c494/forced-displacement-record-685-million.html