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World Refugee Day: Focusing on the Predicament of Refugees and Displaced Persons Around the World

By Saji Peters.

The 20th of June each year is observed as World Refugee Day. It provides the world an opportunity to focus its attention on the predicament of Refugees and displaced people around the world, the causes of their separation, their resolve and will to survive. It is the day dedicated to create awareness of the situation of Refugees throughout the world.

A Refugee is an individual recognized under the 1951 Convention.The United Nation’s General Assembly approved June 20th every year to celebrate Refugees day.

Conflicts has force many of the world’s inhabitants to flee their lands because of violence, human right violations and substandard living conditions. Under international law, a Refugee is someone who flees his groups or country due to a justified fear of persecution based on his or her membership in  a group.

World Refugee day is usually commemorated with local events in cities sponsored by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and other smaller civil groups.

The flow of Refugees is steadily increasing according to the United Nations Refugee agency UNHCR as at Mid 2016. There were 16.5 million Refugees globally, 5 million more than in Mid 2013. More than 30 percent of all Refugees as of Mid 2016 came from Syria. The largest source of Refugees are from Palestine with about 5 million, according to the UN.

The history of the Palestinian refugee was as a result of the 1948 Arab – Israeli War that created the Original Palestinian refugee of some 700,000 people, most of them might have died but their descendants are  classified as Refugees and are concentrated in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and the Palestinian territory. Countries surrounding conflict zones like South Sudan and Syria hosted the most refugees as of Mid 2016. Turkey 2,773,827, Pakistan, 1,576,711, Lebanon 1,035,701.

The Refugee Day, which  calls the international community to action and raise awareness of the struggles faced daily by people forced out of their homes and into a future of uncertainty, was given the nod by the Organization of African Unity, O.A.U to celebrate the day to correspond with African Refugee day on 20th June every year.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the world day migrants and Refugees is dedicated in January each year, having been instituted in 1914 by Pope Pius x.

Other terms associated with the Refugees situation includes Asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, Returning Refugees, Returned IDS and stateless persons.

Herdsmen displaced Tiv people

Internally Displaced persons IDPs which is a common feature in Nigeria, refers to people or groups of individual who have been forced to leave their homes or places of habitual residence to avoid the effects of armed conflict situations, generalized violence, violation of human rights, natural or man made disasters and who have not crossed any international border.

For the purposes of UNHCR statistics, this population only includes conflicts generated IDPs to whom the office extends protection or assistance. Since 2007 the IDP population also including people in IDP like situation. In Nigeria 1,770,444 people are internally displaced, 1.71million are displaced by the insurgency according to NEMA.

To commemorate the day in Nigeria, Legendary singer, Tuface Idibia, popularly known as 2baba is set to release a new song. According to 2baba, the song is meant to support camps of the internally displaced people, IDP, who need every help in the world where sixty percent of the proceeds would be going to them.

Governor Darius Dickson Ishaku has implemented variety of life saving assistance to the internally displaced persons in all their camps in the State, He has also ensured their safety and protection including efforts by individuals and non Governmental Organizations in the State by providing tents, Shelter and drugs.

As the world commemorates Refugee day, it behooves on individuals and groups to stretch their hands to displaced persons in their abode.

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