By Richard Towle, UNHCR Regional Representative for Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and the Pacific
The theme for World Refugee Day “One refugee without hope is too many” is a poignant reminder of the fragile and often dangerous situation faced by millions of people forcibly displaced by war, conflict and persecution all around the world.
This week the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, released a report which showed that
2011 was a record year for forced displacement across borders around the world,
with more people becoming refugees than at any time since 2000.
UNHCR’s 2011 Global Trends report details for the first time the extent of forced displacement from a string of recent humanitarian crises in countries such as Côte d’Ivoire, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and elsewhere. And in 2012, the deteriorating situations in Mali and Syria are placing the lives and human security of tens of thousands of people acutely at risk.