Monday, 20 June 2016

On the Occasion of the World Refugee Day

June 20, World Refugee Day, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. On the eve of this day, during the previous week we shared with you experiences and knowledge we have gained through our work on protection of refugees from Middle East and Africa. We shared with you who are the people we meet, what they did, what they were thinking about and who they were "before", but also to share where they go, what they hope for and what is the desired “after” for them. How similar we are and how different; how much and what we have learned about each other and from each other.

Today, once again, we raise our voices for their urgent protection, human rights and for life in safety and dignity!

Today we want to remind you that, as we speak, violence continues to force hundreds of families to flee each day and yet there are very few safe channels that people can take to reach protection and safety. With Europe’s land borders sealed, people are forced into the hands of smugglers and into overcrowded boats on the Mediterranean and Aegean seas. Even more, they are forced to go on long, risky journeys over land and life threatening conditions. Many lives have been lost.

We want to remind you that these people are people like you and me, who had no choice, but to flee and leave everything behind, in search for a better life. And as they have no other choice, they will continue to risk their lives, exposing themselves to smugglers and all sorts of risks as long as there are no safe alternatives.

The only way Europe can prevent a worsening crisis on its territory is to replace the smugglers by providing a safe, legal and free alternative to reach Europe. Thus today, we urge those in power to urgently provide functional legal avenues allowing refugees to reach Europe safely and move through the legal migration pathways. And we invite you, our friends, colleagues and coworkers, to join us and continue to raise your voices for Safe Passage and urgent protection of refugees, of people like you and me, who, at this moment, need our support! 


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