Will today be the last World Refugee Day?

Monday, June 20, 2016 —

A trend in deterrence policies slowly erodes the concept of "refugee"

Dear media colleagues,

Today is World Refugee Day – a time to reflect on the concept of seeking refuge and what it means to be a refugee.

Currently, more than 60 million people around the world have fled their homes in search of safety and protection. Paradoxically the world is slowly turning its back on those in need of assistance, as several governments and the European Union work on policies that aim to push refugees back to the very countries they ran from and crush their rights to claim asylum.

That is why Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is asking if today could be #thelastrefugeeday ever.

MSF is working in 23 countries worldwide to provide medical care and assistance to refugees, and is confronted with a frightening shift in how states are managing refugee populations and their needs.

With the EU-Turkey deal, Europe and its member states have created a dramatic precedent in history, showing the world that you can buy your way out from your obligations on asylum. Such policies are essentially eroding the very concept of “refugee”. Will the concept of being a refugee and the protection it grants under international law soon cease to exist as nations take their cue from Europe’s deal with Turkey?

Today we must remember what it means to be a refugee. Click on the link below to learn more on a special Exposure page where you can access:

  • testimonies from refugees around the world
  • video animation explaining why the world is becoming a dangerous place for refugees
  • a map of countries where MSF works with refugees.

We hope that with this page and the material available you can help us spread the message that today should not be the #lastrefugeeday!