World Refugee Day 2022: Safety is a right for everyone, everywhere at all times


Youth Alive! Kenya - June 20, 2022 - 7 comments

World Refugee Day, June 20, 2022, is a global celebration of refugees who have shown fortitude and courage in the face of adversity. This day celebrates the resilience and bravery of refugees, as well as public awareness and support for those who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, insecurity, human rights abuses, persecution, and climate impacts like drought or natural disasters. The right to seek safety is the topic of this year’s World Refugee Day, which includes safe borders, not sending anyone back if doing so would threaten their life or freedom, non-discriminatory and humanitarian treatment. Safety is easily taken for granted, but for refugees who are risking everything, it is the only thing that matters. Refugees risk everything in the hope of securing a better future for themselves and their families.

According to the UNHCR, Kenya hosts approximately 520,000 refugees and asylum seekers, including over 278,000 from Somalia, close to 133,000 from South Sudan, 47,000 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and 29,000 from Ethiopia. The majority of refugees are housed in three camps: Dadaab in the southeast, Kakuma in the northwest, and Nairobi in the capital.

Women and girls account for over half of the 100 million people who have been displaced. When a crisis hits, women are often the first responders, but their voices are frequently silenced either by regulations or procedures designed to safeguard them. Women refugees face additional oppression as a result of gender discrimination, especially poverty and other challenges that all refugees experience.

On a new project titled Strategic Partnership Agreement Phase 2, Youth Alive! Kenya has partnered with Action Aid International Kenya to implement a six months pilot project in Nairobi urban settlements. The goal of the project is “Young people, especially women, and marginalized communities enjoy fundamental rights through improved access to well-resourced programs and public services, improved sustainable livelihoods, protection from and resilience to shocks, disasters, and protracted crisis in five arid and semi-arid counties.

This project initiatives and impact framework will focus on resilience to shocks and enjoyment of a right to protection in fragile situations, disasters, and enjoyment of fundamental rights through improved access to well-resourced programs and public services by young people, especially women and refugees, in urban settlements of Nairobi.

 We aim to build the capacity of women, youth, and refugees living in poverty and exclusion, as well as their institutions and solidarity groups, to hold both levels of government and humanitarian actors accountable for delivering an effective, timely, and appropriate emergency response even while promoting transformative changes.

We need the commitment, action, and financial resources to respond to affected communities’ humanitarian needs following the unique humanitarian signature of women’s leadership, shifting power and accountability to affected communities. It is up to us to invest in providing resources and opportunities to support refugees during this time of rebuilding as inequality gaps widen and displacement worsens.  As Trevor Noah stated “Anyone could become a refugee. It’s a thing that happens to you, it’s not who you are.”

Victoria Nyokabi – Program Assistant, Youth Alive! Kenya

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7 comments

  1. Elias Njaramba

    Live long youth alive Kenya

  2. Grace Sabina

    The fundamental rights that young people especially women and marginalized communities access should be well resourced,and their right to seek safety,safe borders should be of priority.What organization like@youthalive @actionaidkenya and UNHCR are doing is something that should be recognized and appreciated by the government.

  3. Very informative article. Law enforcement should be sensitized on refugee documents. Unfortunately those mandated by law to protect all people that is the police, do not recognize the refugee ID cards.

  4. Ymelda

    Quite a transformative essay,gender and social inclusion should be upheld inorder for us to create more awareness and protection for the victims of war,poverty and abuse. Kudos Toria!

  5. Sophie kimeu

    Youth Alive always doing a great job in all aspect in matters youth and also gilrs and women empowerment,thank you for the good job

  6. 20th JUNE 2022

    DEAR CHIEF EDITOR,

    PRESS STATEMENT

    WORLD REFUGEE DAY20 JUNE 2022HOPE FOR THE FUTURE OF REFUGEES

    This year the theme of World Refugee Day 2022 is ‘Whoever, Whatever, whenever. Everyone has a right to seek safety’. The theme focuses on the right to seek safety and means that every refugee must be welcomed and treated with dignity regardless of their birthplace, race, origin, or religion. However, in reality it is very difficult to achieve as the number of stateless, displaced persons, asylum seekers and refugees are increasing tremendously day by day compared to the efforts by the international community to stop the root cause of the problem that forced people to
    flee their countries.

    As we know that the Rohingya Genocide is still ongoing and that forcing the Rohingya to flee. On
    top of this the military coup in 2021 has forced thousands of Myanmar people to flee to the
    neighboring countries. In addition to this, the situation in Afghanistan and Ukraine adds to the
    numbers of displaced persons, asylum seekers and refugees and therefore more resources needed
    to support refugees to seek safety and timely protection.

    While the refugees continue to be associated with threats to a national security of the transit countries which resulted in the widespread of hate speech and xenophobia, we request that more strategic measures to be put in place to counter this as the impact to the refugees and asylum
    seekers are terrible. More strategic measures must be put in place to stop the countries from producing refugees indefinitely. We request more strategic measures to be put in place to increase resettlement quota for the affected refugees.

    Humanitarian aid in refugee camps around the world is severely inadequate compared to the number of refugees and asylum seekers. The situation of refugees and asylum seekers outside the refugee camps is not much different due to lack of access to legal employment in transit countries

    Therefore, we hope that access to legal employment for refugees can be implemented to enable refugees to survive while waiting for a durable solution.

    We also hope the UNHCR will create more access to education for the refugee children while waiting for a durable solution.While the Rohingya in exile hope to return home, the situation in Arakan State as well as in Myanmar do not allow them to return unless the military junta stop the Rohingya Genocide and guaranteed their safety and rights with dignity. As of now the Rohingya in IDP camp in Sittwe and other Townships in Arakan State still cannot return home. They must be allowed to return home
    to rebuild their life.

    We hope the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, H.E Tomas Andrews will work more closely with ASEAN to end the Rohingya Genocide and atrocities in Myanmar so that we can return home safely with dignity where our rights are guaranteed.

    Thank you.

    “JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED”.

    Yours sincerely,

    Zafar Ahmad Abdul Ghani
    President
    Myanmar Ethnic Rohingya Human Rights Organization in Malaysia (MERHROM) @ Human Rights Defender
    Tel No: +6016-6827 287
    Blog: http://www.merhrom.wordpress.com
    Email: rights4rohingya@yahoo.co.uk
    Email: rights4rohingyas@gmail.com
    https://www.facebook.com/zafar.ahmad.
    https://twitter.com/merhromZafar
    https://www.linkedin.com/in/zafar-ahmad-abdul-ghani-

  7. Amina juma

    Very informative article.

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