By the end of 2014, 59.5 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or human rights violations. This is 8.3 million persons more than the year before (51.2 million) and the highest annual increase in a single year.
There are now 19.5 million refugees globally, more than half of whom are children in desperate need of safe, quality education.
World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20 to pay tribute to the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution.
Please visit UNHCR’s World Refugee Day website to support this year’s campaign, Refugees are ordinary people, living through extraordinary times, for stories, videos and ways to get involved: www.unhcr.org/refugeeday/
UNHCR’s newly released Global Trends: World at War report is available at this link:www.unhcr.org/558193896.html
Education has never been more urgent for the immediate protection and future of displaced children and their communities; however only 1 in 2 refugee children are enrolled in primary school, and 1 in 4 are enrolled in secondary school. Less than 1% of refugee students are enrolled in tertiary education.
The Incheon Declaration for Education 2030, endorsed at the World Education Forum in May 2015 recognizes that children affected by conflict and crisis, including IDPs and refugees, must be accounted for in the 2030 vision and plans, signalling a landmark policy shift that emphasizes the importance of education in crisis contexts to meet global Education for All targets.
While much work remains to be done to ensure the right to education for every displaced child and youth in the coming years, World Refugee Day, is a day to celebrate the efforts of all partners working towards this goal, and to acknowledge the incredible contributions displaced populations are making worldwide, in support of and as a result of education.
Thank you, and Happy World Refugee Day!