What is a Refugee? 5 Things People Don’t Know
Child Refugee Crisis Relief Fund
The word refugee come from the word refuge – “the state of being sheltered from pursuit, danger or difficulty”1. Refugees are people who are seeking a safe haven, forced to flee violence, persecution and war. A global definition of refugees was recognized in the Geneva Convention 2.
In the wake of World War 2, the Geneva Convention was adopted to protect all human beings from atrocities such as those committed during the war. Millions suffered torture and systematic genocide during the war including Jewish, Romani and disabled people, as well as those with sexual and gender identities that did not conform to the Nazi German norms.
Today, millions of refugees have no place to call home. Chased by bullets and bombs, children and families are literally running for their lives from chemical attacks, religious persecution and horrific violence. More than 11 million children are refugees worldwide.3
Politics and terrorism may be dominating headlines these days, but the harsh reality is that even though the refugee crisis rarely makes news, it hasn’t gone away. In fact it’s more important than ever to remember that refugees are people, just like you and me, who need our help.
Here are five things you might not know about refugees:
While these facts are not positive, the good news that Americans do support refugees and there is a way to help. Save the Children just conducted a survey asking Americans what they know and think about refugees.
A full 80% of people agree that all refugee children deserve an education. Nearly three in four people believe it is important to help refugee children abroad as well as refugee families who have settled in the United States, even though only 22% of people say they definitely know a refugee.
Until we are able to end the conflicts that cause people to become refugees in the first place, reminding your elected officials that refugees are people, they matter, and you support them is critical to helping refugee children and families be safe and know that they have a future.
We need to harness this compassion and enthusiasm and take it to Capitol Hill and the White House. The cost to help is small.
How You Can Help Refugees
While the conflict in Syria has demanded urgent global support – we mustn't overlook the staggering needs in other countries. Egypt. Ethiopia. Kenya. Lebanon. South Sudan. Uganda. Places that used to be home to millions of children forced to leave everything behind to escape conflict, oppression and poverty. Your tax-deductible donation can help.
About this Article
This opinion editorial, by Carolyn Miles is President & CEO of Save the Children, was originally featured in Newsweek Magazine.