Today, communities celebrate World Refugee Day. Worldwide, communities hope to raise awareness about the plight of refugees.
In “Refugees”, Steve Loyal explains that refugees are people who escape their country of origin because of persecution or fear of persecution. After refugees flee to neighboring countries, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees interviews them and determines whether they meet the criteria for refugees. If the High Commissioner classifies them as refugees, then they are allowed to remain in the neighboring country, usually in refugee camps. Many refugees reside in refugee camps for long periods of time.
Coinciding with World Refugee Day, Medecins Sans Frontieres releases a statement on the Rohingya people. Many Rohingyas were persecuted by Burma’s military government. Over the past twenty years, about twenty-five thousand Rohingyas escaped Burma and settled in a makeshift refugee camp in Bangladesh. Since this makeshift refugee camp is not officially recognized by the High Commissioner, Bangladesh’s government does not welcome the refugees and encourages them to return to Burma. Medecins Sans Frontieres criticizes the forcible displacement of the Rohingyas, who are an extremely vulnerable group.