UN Secretary-General Guterres. (Credit: TIME)

UN Secretary-General Guterres calls for protection of refugees, ending conflicts

On commemorating World Refugee Day which is celebrated on 20 June, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has called on the world to assist and respect the human rights of refugees.

In a statement extended to Radio Tamazuj, the UN Chief said World Refugee Day is about honoring their (refugees) strength and courage – and stepping up efforts to protect and support refugees on every step of their journey.

“From Sudan to Ukraine, from the Middle East to Myanmar to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and beyond, conflict, climate chaos, and upheaval are forcing record numbers of people from their homes and fueling profound human suffering,” he stated. “The latest figures show that a total of more than 120 million people around the world are forcibly displaced, including 43.5 million refugees. Refugees need global solidarity and the ability to rebuild their lives in dignity.”

Guterres said that when given the opportunity, refugees make significant contributions to their host communities, but they need equal opportunities and jobs, housing, and healthcare.

“Young refugees need quality education to achieve their dreams. And generous host countries, mostly low- or middle-income countries, need the support and resources to fully include refugees in societies and economies,” the UN Secretary-General’s statement read in part. “Let us pledge to reaffirm the world’s collective responsibility in assisting and welcoming refugees … in upholding their human rights including the right to seek asylum … in safeguarding the integrity of the refugee protection regime … and ultimately, in resolving conflicts so that those forced from their communities can return home.”