In a report from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, published 19 June, 2013
‘The report highlights worrisome trends in several areas, one of which is the rate at which people are today being forced into situations of displacement. During 2012 some 7.6 million people became newly displaced, 1.1 million of them as refugees and 6.5 million as internally displaced people. This translates to a new refugee or internally displaced person every 4.1 seconds.
Children below age 18 make up 46 per cent of all refugees. In addition, a record 21,300 asylum applications submitted during 2012 were from children who were unaccompanied or separated from their parents. This is the highest number of unaccompanied or separated children that UNHCR has recorded’.
With the continued unrest in many parts of the world, refuge will continue to be sought after by many more people. The problem has impacted the whole world. The UN continues to play a vital role in taking these refugees, but more needs to be done.
When we consider the number of people who are displaced and will never have the opportunity to resettle in a new country, we need to consider how those people are provided for. Make shift communities are housing them, but what about the long term future. What about education? The UN and other agencies such as Teacher’s Without Borders’ are providing these children with an education. Those 21st Century skills of collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking are vital for the children in these camps. To be taught these skills allows them to develop their own communities and build new lives with innovative and practical solutions.
Refugees become resilient, creative people through their experiences. They quickly learn to adapt to their environment to survive. With education, a new world can open up to them.