Refugees seek protection for their human rights

Refugees, who now number around 20 million around the world, claim today International Day of Human Rights, your rights and your freedoms to live without fear. The Convention on the Status of Refugees recognizes the right of refugees to obtain in the contracting countries the right to work, housing, public assistance and education.

Precisely, the International Day of Human Rights commemorates the date on which, in 1948, the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, in addition, the 50th anniversary of the two international human rights pacts. Both agreements, together with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, constitute the International Bill of Human Rights, which establishes the civil, political, cultural, economic and social rights that every person has from birth.


The problem of refugees and their families

Refugees are those who have chosen to flee their countries, looking for a place where they can recover their rights and fundamental freedoms. Currently, the governments of each country are responsible for guaranteeing the basic human rights of their citizens. But, once these citizens are forced to flee their countries, due to well-founded fears of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, belonging to a certain social group or political opinions they become refugees, and this guarantee of protection of human rights disappears.

According to UNHCR, until December 2014 there were 59.5 million people in the world who had been forced to move. 19.5 million are refugee population because they have crossed borders. Of these, 14.4 million are under the mandate of UNHCR: 3.8 million (27%) resided in countries in Asia and the Pacific, 3.7 million (26%) in sub-Saharan Africa, Europe welcomed about 3.1 million (22%), Middle East and North Africa to 3 million (21%) and America to 769,000 (5%). The remaining 5.1 million are Palestinian refugees registered by the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Middle East. In relation to its population, the countries that host the largest number of refugees are Lebanon, with 232 refugees for every 1,000 nationals and Jordan, with 87 for every 1,000.


The status of refugees

To guarantee the protection of the human rights of refugees, the Convention on the Status of Refugees was established in 1951. This international treaty recognizes that refugees in the contracting countries will have the right to work, housing, public assistance and education, among others. It is a way to restore and guarantee the exercise of the human rights of refugees, to recover the important freedom to live without fear; that Franklin D. Roosevelt pointed out in his speech on the four freedoms.

Restore the human rights of refugees

Various humanitarian organizations, such as Entreculturas, work to address the causes of conflicts, to offer education to those who do not receive it, and to influence political representatives and society to create a culture of hospitality and respect for the human rights of people. refugees.


The majority of the world's refugees come from the Syrian Arab Republic. Lebanon, a country of 4.5 million inhabitants, has 2 million Syrian refugees, plus those who arrive every day.

In South Sudan, more than 2 million people have been forced to flee: 500,000 have been able to cross the border into neighboring countries and 1.5 million continue in the country as internally displaced persons.

And in Latin America, in the border provinces of Colombia with Ecuador, there are tens of thousands of Colombians living in conditions of refuge or in conditions of need for international protection.

Advice: Entreculturas

Video: Asylum, Human Rights and International Law


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