Today marks the 23rd anniversary of World Refugee Day. On this day, while remembering and honoring the strength of refugees around the world, we are also called upon a sober reflection. This anniversary requires us to renew and reinforce the commitment to achieve effective protection and durable and just solutions for refugees everywhere. ARDD joins the call for “Hope away from home” that guides this year’s celebration: refugees’ access to rights, services, security and dignity must be guaranteed wherever they are.
The Arab region is the second most affected by forced displacement globally. It is the responsibility of local and international institutions and civil society to assist refugees, guarantee protection and access to rights. ARDD remains fully committed to social inclusion and empowerment of refugees, as the most effective ways to achieve their safety, well-being, and durable solutions.
Despite efforts in many host countries in the Arab region in the prevention of discrimination against refugees, dynamics of exploitation and marginalization exist and undermine full and fair inclusion of these groups in the economic and social fabrics. These dynamics are a global phenomenon that cannot be overlooked or addressed without acknowledging the impact of social, political, and economic criteria that inform both asylum procedures and migration policies not only in host countries but – and above all in the broader international system.
Today and every day we are reminded that we are morally and legally compelled to raise awareness on the situation of refugees in the region and beyond it: as a grassroots organization constantly supporting the plight of refugees, we denounce the ‘policy of containment and confinement’ that has plighted the Mediterranean region in the past years, tragically crushing the life of millions of refugees. This policy has profound implications for “countries of origin” and “country of first asylum” that saw the number of refugees staying in their intended transit locations increase and had to adjust to strategies of humanitarian containment as they are implemented at the regional and global level. As a matter of fact, the Middle East has emerged as a region of humanitarian containment and refugee camps have become the cornerstone of modern humanitarian refugee management. The Arab world now hosts six million refugees who can neither return home nor proceed legally toward Europe.
ARDD believes that only with joint efforts and cooperation between the international community and host countries in the Arab region justice and safety can be assured for both refugees and host societies: we call for increased global efforts to achieve protection across the cycle of forced displacement and durable solutions, including the political and economic commitments to guarantee peace and stability as fundamental socio-political preconditions to allow voluntary repatriation or resettlements in third countries. Similarly, ARDD strongly calls for policies that truly support social inclusion and full access to rights and services in host countries. In doing so, we renew our long-term, persistent commitment to support all refugees and host communities in their right to a dignified life.