As of 2020, there 82.4 million people across the globe who were considered ‘forcibly displaced’ – this was due to a combination of persecution, conflict and war, violence, human rights violations and events that seriously disturbed public order. Of those, nearly 21 million people were classified as refugees. That number has been rising steadily in the past decade, and it seems that we’re looking at even sharper increases coming in 2022. This month, we’re taking a look at the struggles of refugees and donating to the The International Rescue Committee, an organization providing resources to refugees fleeing countries facing humanitarian crisis.
Children are more likely to be forcibly displaced than adults – they make up 42 percent of the displaced population worldwide. It’s probably pretty obvious that becoming a refugee can cause major disruption in a child’s life, but it can affect them in ways we may not think about initially. Suddenly getting cut off to access to quality education can have ripple effects that span a lifetime. Their responsibilities in the family may dramatically increase as parents need to focus on basic survival needs. Depending on where refugees are being hosted, either temporarily or more permanently, they may very well be treated as outsiders by the kids and adults living there already.
Finding a New Home
For people and families that are permanently fleeing their original home, finding a new one can be challenging. They face refugee quotas and caps in other places, a shortage of resources and countless barriers to settling down safely. Refugees may not get much of a say in where they end up, and their temporary new home might not be an option for long term living. Imagine attempting to learn a new foreign language without even knowing whether you’ll still be in that same country the next year.
Dangers in Becoming a Refugee
For those who are attempting to leave their country of origin, the process of escaping may be quite dangerous. Depending on the reason for fleeing, they may face roadblocks imposed by their own country. Refugees are especially vulnerable to sex and labor exploitation, too. Refugee camps in the receiving countries may not always be the safest, either.
How to Help
There are countless organizations providing aid to refugees, both those currently attempting to flee as well as ones that have successfully left their country. Having resources available for them in receiving countries can significantly help. There is often an outpouring of support for sudden terrible events, such as a newly initiated war, but remember that these issues persist even if they’re not on the front pages of every newspaper. Moreover, refugees fleeing their country need places to safely land, so if you’re aware of any resettlements happening in your area, consider ways to make them feel more welcome.