Refugee Crisis Current Affairs
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The World Refugee Day is observed every year June 20 to raise awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. Observance of this day seeks to draw attention to the plight of refugees and also to celebrate their courage and resilience and renew commitment to solve refugee problems. The theme for World Refugee Day 2018 is “Now More Than Ever, We Need to Stand with Refugees.”
United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, defines refugees as those who have fled their country owing to well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in particular social group or political opinion. UN has revealed that record high of 68.5 million individuals have now been displaced worldwide due to war, poverty, persecution and other events.
On this day, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRA) also known as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) hosts various events and announces theme for its campaign. With this, UNRA seeks to draw public’s attention to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide who have fled their homes forcefully due to war, conflict and persecution.
The World Refugee Day was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) h by passing Resolution 55/76 on 4 December 2000. The resolution was passed to mark 50th anniversary of UN Refugee Convention, 1951. Since then it is observed annually with different themes. Prior to passing of this resolution in 2000, African Refugee Day was formally celebrated on 20 June in several countries especially by Organization of African Unity (OAU) member states. The theme for year 2017 was “Embracing Refugees to Celebrate our Common Humanity”.
Tanzania has announced its withdrawal of United Nation’s “Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework” citing security reasons and lack of funds. Tanzania has long been considered as safe haven for refugees, particularly from conflict hit Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Burundi.
Earlier in January 2018, Tanzania had informed United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) that it was suspending granting of citizenship to some Burundian refugees and that it will discourage new asylum applications. It has blamed international community for failing to release funds pledged to help Tanzania integrate refugees.
UN Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework (CRRF)
New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants (also known as New York Declaration) calls upon UNHCR to develop and initiate the application of CRRF in particular situations, in close coordination with relevant States, other UN agencies and stakeholders.
The CRRF specifies key elements for a comprehensive response to any large movement of refugees. These include rapid and well-supported reception and admissions; assistance for local and national institutions and communities receiving refugees; support for immediate and on-going needs (e.g. protection, health, education) and expanded opportunities for solutions.
The CRRF provides lasting solutions for refugees, including integration into host communities. Its approach is based on the idea that refugees should be included in their host communities. According to framework, once refugees get access to education and right to work legally, they can develop their own skills and be more self-reliant, contributing to local economy.