Each year on June 20, the world celebrates World Refugee Day. This year, the focus will be on the right to seek safety.
Every person on this planet has a right to seek safety – whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they are forced to flee.
Whoever they are, people forced to flee should be treated with dignity. Anyone can seek protection, regardless of who they are or what they believe. It is non-negotiable: seeking safety is a human right.
Wherever they come from, people forced to flee should be welcomed. Refugees come from all over the globe. To get out of harm’s way, they might take a plane, a boat, or travel on foot. What remains universal is the right to seek safety.
Whenever people are forced to flee, they have a right to be protected. Whatever the threat – war, violence, persecution – everyone deserves protection.
Everyone has a right to be safe and seeking safety can look like the following:
1. Right to seek asylum: Anyone fleeing persecution, conflict, or human rights abuses has a right to seek protection in another Country.
2. Safe access: Borders should remain open to all people forced to flee. Restricting access and closing borders can make the journey even more dangerous for people seeking safety.
3. No pushbacks: People can't be forced to return to a country if their life or freedom would be at risk. This means that countries shouldn't push anyone back without first evaluating the dangers they would face back home
4. No discrimination: People should not be discriminated against at borders. All applications for refugee status must be given fair consideration, regardless of factors like race, religion, gender and country of origin.
5. Humane treatment : People forced to flee should be treated with respect and dignity. They are entitled to safe and dignified treatment like any human being. Among other things, this means keeping families together, protecting people from traffickers, and avoiding arbitrary detention.