The COVID-19 pandemic and the recent anti-racism protests have shown us how desperately we need to fight for a more inclusive and equal world: a world where no one is left behind. It has never been clearer that all of us have a role to play in order to bring about change. Everyone can make a difference.
This is at the heart of UNHCR’s World Refugee Day campaign. This year, they aim to remind the world that everyone, including refugees, can contribute to society and "Every Action Counts" in the effort to create a more just, inclusive, and equal world.
The world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced from home by conflict and persecution at the end of 2018. Among them are nearly 30 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18. There are also millions of stateless people, who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement.
Refugees are among the most vulnerable people in the world. The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol help protect them. They are the only global legal instruments explicitly covering the most important aspects of a refugee’s life.
The rights contained in the 1951 Convention includes, The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions. The right not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting State, The right to work, The right to housing,The right to education, The right to public relief and assistance, The right to freedom of religion, The right to access the courts, The right to freedom of movement within the territory, The right to be issued identity and travel documents. Some basic rights, including the right to be protected from refoulement, apply to all refugees.