Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Today's World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day

On June 20, thanks to that magnificent organization, UNHCR, we salute the indomitable spirit and courage of the world's refugees, giving them the encouragement, support and respect they deserve.

Every refugee story is different, every loss is a personal one. But around the world different crises affect different groups. Some conflicts are almost resolved. Others are new, with fresh refugee problems. And still others are shadowy, long-running guerrilla wars whose victims are often the ordinary people the revolutionaries claim to represent.

Under international law, a refugee is a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution. They are subgroup of the broader category of displaced persons. They are distinguished from economic migrants who have voluntarily left their country of origin for economic reasons, and from internally displaced persons who have not crossed an international border.

Those who seek refugee status are sometimes known as asylum seekers and the practice of accepting such refugees is that of offering political asylum. The most common asylum claims are based upon political and religious grounds.

Refugees often make some of the best immigrants to a nation because they are the people of strong character from the countries in which they were repressed, and the more resourceful ones who are able to flee and survive their escape. These qualities stand for so much more than how much money they have in their bank accounts.


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