Today is also World Refugee Day (WRD), a day celebrated annually to honor the courage, strength and determination of millions of people who had to flee their homes due to conflict, war, or threats of persecution. According to the United Nations, as at mid 2020, 80 million people have fled their homes in search of safer place, signaling the greatest dislocation of people of all time.
This year the theme for World Refugee Day is Together we heal, learn and shine – which aptly conveys the need to heal from the trauma the refugees around the world suffer from and to build better lives through learning.
Many immigrants in Canada have made this home after coming in as refugees. As of 2019, refugees accounted for a significant 14.2 percent of all permanent resident status holders in Canada. This year, Canada has made even more enhancements that will attract more refugees by as much as 22,000 according to an announcement by the Honorable Marco E.L. Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship.
Canada therefore continues to resettle refugees to save lives and to provide stability to those fleeing persecution with no hope of relief. On this day, we remember the rights of every citizen of the world to live without fear no matter what their religion, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender, economic or social status. While some of us have been through the experience of living as refugees, others who haven’t can build a better world through empathy and compassion.