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Kamala Sarup: World Refugees Day

World Refugees Day- Stop War, Refugees Are Increasing

By Kamala Sarup

In 2000 the General Assembly of the United Nations passed a resolution that proclaimed June 20th to be World Refugee Day. Some time ago the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees said the following: "Every day we can observe incredible courage and strength of refugees who have lost everything they had. That is why on World Refugee Day we all should take a break and reflect".

Do we think the world or UN is doing enough to combat refugees problems? Or do we think it is down to the government or individual to be more responsible? Every day, worldwide, there is a tremendous increase in refugees internally and by the wars. Do we think it maybe time now to pressure to refugees problems that is still dominating.

Many refugees are deprived of education and they are not attending schools. In certain developing countries, including in Nepal a lot of refugees children in villages do not attend school or drop out of school to share family responsibilities at an young age? Would the government or UN take special steps to ensure these children get appropriate education?

What we think on the research being done towards developing refugee's living standard? With the patent war on refugees - is the balance skewed too far toward refugees health? With over 90% of refugees women being of child-bearing age, do we think that it may be a good approach to automatically give more power to refugees women of child-bearing age ? What is the best solutions for the refugees especially like in Nepal? It is said that the refugees women are dependent on prostitution for their living and it is a family tradition. How would we describe the social responses? Do we think there is less of discrimination now than we saw 2 decade ago?

Wars continue to disturb the peaceful life of millions of people in the whole world today, for example the recent conflicts in Africa, Iraq, in the Balkans and in Afghanistan and in Nepal. Even, the United Nations refugee agency, the UNHCR, is trying to draw attention to the challenges it faces in trying to help refugees.

But reality is UN and individual countries do very little because no one cares about people with no power or influence. It is true, more pressure needed to address this problem. The problem of refugees means they are just the symptom and the help victims. The problem is poverty, wars, repressive governments, indifference and the most forgotten and disadvantaged are always the ones who suffer most. So many countries trade policies ruin lives of poor people and force them to go to the rich countries so they can feed their families. Some people also flee because of religious persecution.

On the other side there must be lots written about this by caring, thoughtful people. We must support the people. We should not favor one refugee group over another or would discriminate between men, women, young, old. All those in need should get help - no one left out.

The solutions are the same everywhere for refugees. End bad policies, have a society based on equity and justice for everyone and the problem would be solved. Most countries do the opposite. Many rich countries are the worst and they create far more problems than any other country.

Most poor women who are prostitutes are forced to do it - deceived by promises of good work and then placed in bondage. It has nothing to do with their families, only their need for work to survive. Discrimination today is as bad as decades ago in most places. It's always the issue of the privileged not caring, the poor and desperate get hurt and people of color and women especially get hurt the most.

It is also true, we live in a very unjust world. There are many good people everywhere fighting injustice. Problem is there aren't enough of them and their resources are limited.


A Nepali journalist, Ms. Kamala Sarup is an editor of She has also been invited as a speaker at a number of peace and women conferences. She is specialising in in-depth reporting and writing on Peace Resolutions, Anti war, Women, Terrorism, Democracy, Development, Politics and HIV/AIDS. Some of her publications are: Women's Empowerment (Booklet). Prevention of trafficking in women for prostitution through media, (Book) Efforts to Prevent Trafficking in Women & Girls - A Pre-Study for Media Activism. Ms. Kamala Sarup has been nominated as Universal Peace Ambassador [2006] in the framework of the Universal Peace Ambassadors Circle, Geneva Switzerland.

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