In 1951, the UN Refugee Convention was created in response to the thousands of displaced Europeans following the aftermath of WWII. Thus, 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the Convention and, consequently, the first year that June 20th would be recognized as the international day of refugees.
Today’s post is to recognize and consider that as you and I spend time planning trips for leisure, many far less fortunate travel for an acutely different purpose – to flee a life-threatening situation.
The BBC reported today that 2016 grievously boasts the largest number of refugees in recorded history – 65 million or 1 in 113 persons (visit the BBC article to read in full). This includes 12.4 million displaced persons since 2015, 54% of whom are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia, and half of whom are children under 18 years (all sited from the same BBC article, published June 20, 2016).
Having to give up my neighbourhood, my home, my job, my surroundings, everything I know to escape a horrific situation and find safety is a reality I cannot comprehend. Much of this blog is devoted to careful preparation of travels – I cannot even begin to imagine the stress, the fear, the anxiety that unravels as these refugees move to unknown lands to stay for an unidentified length of time.
I am humbled by my ability to jauntily travel this world.