Refugees Are People Who Have Escaped From Their Countries Because

1725 words - 7 pages

Refugees are people who have escaped from their countries because of a legitimate fear of persecution, torture or death due to their race, religion, nationality, politics, ethnicity or participation in a social group (UNHCR, 2001). A refugee is unable to return home because of this well-founded fear. Often refugees are separated from their families and detached from their communities: this makes them vulnerable to violence and mistreatment. Most refugees seek protection in nearby countries; in some circumstances, refugee camps are established and refugees are forced to live in there until the problems in their homeland is resolved (UNHCR, 2001). However, some refugees are compelled to find asylum in countries thousands of miles away from their homeland. This proves to be more challenging for these people as the language and culture is very different from their own. Refugees often feel isolated, abandoned, and terribly lonely.Refugees act as the living reminder of societies failure to exist in peace (UNHCR, 2001). All people should be allowed to lead liberated lives in their homeland. Abuse, violation of rights, or social disruptions such as war force people to run for safety. One in every 50 people is a refugee, a migrant, an asylum seeker or a displaced person (Fernandez, 1999).Refugees are the evidence of the evils of a particular age: war, intolerance, and persecution. In the early 1990s, many sociologists and politicians predicted a reduction in the number of refugees worldwide (UNHCR, 2001). Sadly, the recent troubles in Eastern Europe and the continued problems in Africa have generated thousands of refugees.Despite their desperation and vulnerability, refugees are entitled to the fundamental rights of every individual including freedom of thought and movement, and freedom from torture and degradation. Refugees have the right to seek asylum, to freedom from forcible return, and the right to receive economic assistance (PDHRE, 2001). Plus, they are also entitled to preserve their social and cultural traditions. In return, refugees must respect the laws of their country of asylum.When refugees arrive in a foreign country seeking safety and protection, they receive assistance from the country of asylum. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established in 1951; the UNHCR currently cares for 12 million refugees, mostly from Africa and Asia (UNHCR, 2001). The violation of human rights is presently one of the main causes of mass emigration.No one wants to be a refugee, living apart from family and community and depending on strangers for food and shelter. While most people can depend on their government to protect their basic rights, refugees have been abandoned by their homeland (UNHCR, 2001). Those people working with refugees seek one of three solutions for their clients. The preferred solution is called voluntary repatriation: when the conditions in their homeland have changed to the extent that these refugees are...

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