We are in the middle of the most serious refugee crisis since the Second World War, with millions of people risking everything to flee terrifying conflict, disaster and poverty. More than 65 million people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes. The majority – more than 38 million people – are displaced within their own countries. Others shelter in neighbouring countries or are still on the move, putting their lives in danger on treacherous journeys to seek refuge further from home.
And yet, having escaped the unthinkable, many vulnerable families are met by closed borders, hostility, discrimination, abuse and worse. Pushed into poverty by circumstances beyond their control, terrified of what their future might hold, these desperate families need safety and protection – and have a right to be treated with dignity.
There is no single solution to the refugee crisis and no one country that can tackle it alone. Governments worldwide must develop a fair, united and co-ordinated response to help the millions of vulnerable people who are on the move. They must act quickly and responsibly to save and protect lives, and promise never to undermine international law by bargaining away fundamental human rights.
* All children’s names have been changed to protect identity.