According to the latest UNHCR figures, the number of displaced people worldwide reached 103 million last October. Over 53 million of these are internally displaced persons. This means that they are still in their own country, but for security reasons have had to leave their homes and move to other towns or villages. Of the total number of displaced people in the world, around 32 million are refugees, meaning that they have had to seek refuge in another country that has recognized their refugee status. Of these displaced persons, 4.9 million are asylum seekers and 5.9 million are still seeking international protection. By next year, these figures will have changed dramatically, due to conflicts, humanitarian disasters and global poverty.
According to Amnesty International, the ten countries hosting the most refugees are Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Germany, Lebanon, Sudan, Jordan, Ethiopia, Uganda and DRC. Rich countries are far from welcoming refugees. In fact, Canada takes in only a tiny fraction of the world’s refugees. For example, in 2021, of the world’s 27 million refugees, our country took in only 39, This represents around 2% of the world’s refugee population. Faced with these global challenges, and with the current Canadian situation marked by the extension of the safe third country agreement and the closure of Roxham Road, we need to advocate for greater humanism towards people seeking security.
On this World Refugee Day, let us remember that, except for First Nations people, we are all strangers in Canada. We must remember our history and show tolerance towards others, just as those who welcomed us to this Canadian land did. let’s get to know all the people who contribute to the human enrichment of our society. Let’s get to know their stories, their backgrounds, their dreams. Perhaps then we’ll be able to recognize ourselves in their stories and be ready to reach out to them.