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World Refugee Day Maintaining refugee life is the responsibility of states and international organizations

World Refugee Day
Maintaining refugee life is the responsibility of states and international organizations

June 20th is International Refugee Day, this day has been officially recognized by the United Nations for the past sixty-nine years.  World Refugee Day is celebrated this year at the same time when coronavirus has become a major threat to human society, and has affected millions of people worldwide. Unfortunately, Corona virus has so far claimed the lives of more than half a million people, no vaccine has yet been found to prevent the spread of the epidemic and protect the life and safety of human society. 

When coronavirus first appeared, European governments decided to close their borders.   Detaining and stopping the entry of refugees under the pretext of preventing the virus.  The same governments called on European Union member states to abide by this decision excluding hundreds of refugees, refusing their asylum requests. Hundreds have also been forcibly deported to their countries of origin. Many have been held or imprisoned in camps, tents, and greenhouses, making a wall that could jeopardize their health and safety. The main reason for all of this is due to European government’s policies towards refugees.

With the COVID-19 epidemic spreading, the Turkish government, for its political and economic interests, used the refugee cases to obtain concessions from European countries. So that it opened its borders to refugees and encouraged more than 142,000 refugees, women, children, the elderly and the handicapped to try to cross into Europe.

Countries like Greece and other European countries have tightened their borders, deployed forces, deported refugees to Turkish sea coasts, shot and used tear gas, sound bombs, assassinations and repression of refugees in the camps, despite the tragedy of many refugees dying at sea.  Not to mention the UN decision to suspend and deport refugees who have been granted asylum in a third country.

According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, approximately (70,800,000) seventy million and eight hundred thousand people around the world have been displaced from their homes. The European Commission which is responsible for monitoring European borders since the beginning of this year, has also announced that (31,600) refugees have arrived in European countries (European Union) without specifying the countries the refugees are from.

However, these statistics only cover refugees who were arrested or surrendered upon arrival in European countries or on the borders of European countries. Statistics also indicate that the number of Iraqi refugees who arrived in Europe in the past year was 26,800, and most sought asylum in Germany. And the Iraqi refugees who arrived in European countries in the past year constituted the fifth rank of all the refugees in the world. According to official statistics from the Turkish Immigration and Immigration Service, Iraqi refugees who wanted to cross from Turkey to European countries a year and a half ago, reached (12,097) twelve thousand and ninety seven refugees, and this year they numbered (1165) one thousand one hundred and sixty-five refugees.  According to the statistics recorded by the Federation of Iraqi Refugees to date, (314) citizens of the Kurdistan region drowned in the sea or have no trace, and (163) returned to their areas, and (151) bodies were not found among them, and since the beginning of this The year (21) citizens of the Kurdistan region sank in the sea, 6 of them were returned and (15) other refugees were not found.

These tragic events and disasters to which refugees are exposed, whether death by drowning at sea, killing and detention for years in the camps without obtaining any positive response in determining their fate, in addition to closing the borders that are in full swing before the eyes of the United Nations. These events are accompanied by the silence of European governments towards the refugee situation. Corona virus has shown that human beings do not deserve any false identity for the nation, race and gender.

The International Federation of Iraqi Refugees (IFIR), on the occasion of International Refugee Day, holds the states, institutions and international agencies responsible for the death and tragedy of the refugees.  At the same time, he declares that at a time when human society is going through a very sensitive and dangerous stage, and the catastrophic crisis that has hit its health system, and the protection of lives and survival has become a major issue. Labour organisations, freedom loving people, humanity, defenders of the rights of refugees, and the civilized world have great efforts and tremendous tasks in a new phase of the struggle to protect refugee rights and protect the right to refugee for a free, dignified, safe and risk-free life. At the same time, we appeal to the humanitarian community to work together to restore life, health, safety, coexistence and tolerance, strive for the rights of equal citizens, and defend the right to refugee.

International Federation of Iraqi Refugees-IFIR

20 June 2020

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