When we talk about our homeland or the nation in which we live, we sense pride in ourselves to be part of that nation. But imagine being forced to displace from your loving nation or homeland how can one react and live with that reality for the rest of their life. Identity based on our nationality is something that is considered important and unique to most of us. One can hardly imagine this identity being taken over due to unfavourable circumstances.
Human populations from time immemorial have migrated or displaced from their roots of origin and have to adjust to new environments and cultural settings. Migrant or the refugee crisis is a humanitarian crisis of the modern world, this crisis could not be escaped by both the developed and developing nations. There are many reasons why individual leaves their home country some might be forced due to violence, by was or pushed to another side by an act of human trafficking especially young children and woman. According to a report published by UNHCR, approx. 82.4 million people were displaced at the end of 2020. The reason for displacement was majorly communal conflict, persecution, violation of human rights. Half of the refugees are individuals of age below 18 years which reflects problems in the development of the child population.
According to Amnesty international definition, “Refugee is a person who has fled their own country because they are at risk of serious human rights violations and persecution there. The risks to their safety and life were so great that they felt they had no choice but to leave and seek safety outside their country because their government cannot or will not protect them from those dangers. Refugees have a right to international protection”. In this line of thought Migrant according to Amnesty is “ those people who are not looking for refugee or asylum but are leaving their home country for better economic opportunities”. Sometimes words such as migrant and refugee crisis are used simultaneously. While we seek to see differences between two terms sometimes this line of difference gets blurred out.
From the beginning of 2019, the majority of refugees were from five countries such as Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. Since 2014 and at the end of 2019, about 126 countries across the globe hosted 6.6 million Syrians.
The refugee crisis is something not new to the world or India. India faced the biggest refugee crisis post partition of India in 1947 when millions of people were internally displaced and left their ancestral homeland for more than 100 years. Displacement after independence created refugee colonies in several parts of India located mainly in Delhi and nearby surrounding regions. Even in developing countries of Europe, we witness a pattern of this crisis. In the last few days, the condition of the people of Belarus has come to light. They have suffered internally in the hands of their own authoritative state rule. The people from Belarus is facing human trafficking at hands of their government who are rejecting their plea for seeking asylum in some other parts of the world.
In Myanmar, a similar kind of situation was there in 2017 due to sectarian violence Rohingya, a minority ethnic community, were displaced from Myanmar Rakhine State. Many of them took long forest routes to seek asylum in neighbouring areas of Bangladesh and India. The United Nations has described Rohingya as “ the most persecuted minority in the world”. In India, there will be about 2100 Rohingya population in 2020, while there is also internal displacement within Myanmar since February 2021 with the Myanmar military taking over the government of the region. In the middle east region, Syrians are being displaced since 2011 and still, they face serious crises. There are existing Syrian Refugees in more than 130 countries. Recently many of us have encountered the campaign of little Amal which was based on a nine-year-old Syrian Refugee girl. Little Amal literal meaning Hope in Arabic, an 11 feet puppet symbolises long walks of refugees in wake of asylum also a symbol of hope and peace for Syrian refugees. She has travelled about 8000 km from the Syrian border in Turkey across Europe and ended her walk journey in Manchester, England. There might be various reasons migration takes place, one of the recent reasons which have come into the light was migration due to climate change, that is gaining spotlight in coming years and for it, international organisations along with cooperation from all over the world should focus on achieving sustainable development goals.
It is inevitable to look away from the amount of pressure a host country has to deal with the arrival of the refugee population, this not only puts pressure on available economic resources but also leads to ecological pressure in the region. Every day the refugee population is deprived of some kind of loss be it their health, education, monetary. A crisis of this kind has also led to increasing large scale human trafficking around, the globe. Physical loss of a place called homeland can lead to severe physical and mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress is something which cannot be ignored and is faced by these groups of individuals. Many of the time the government and international organisations work as global citizens who are upfront to not only make a difference in their region but also support the sense of integrity and pride for the culture they represent. It is no doubt that host communities face pressure by the arrival of refugee population but what if this is not just seen as the burden of responsibility rather an opportunity to empower different spectrum of the population and provide them skills to not only make a significant contribution to the economy but also helping them to rebuild their home away from home with a sense of pride and happiness. If the government and international organisations work as global citizens who are upfront to not only make a difference in their region but also support each other to stand together and look out for each other when in need. It is rare to find all over the world anyone free from all kinds of prejudices against any community or individuals but what if we work together as a global village isn’t there the slightest possibility of overcoming challenges such as the refugee crisis. I had always imagined a borderless homeland where everyone has equal access to every part of the earth. This imagination in itself is my effort to talk about the humanitarian crisis and at least if not this but at least we as humans work together and come out of any major challenges that divide all of us from being there for each other.
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