Oxfam urges world leaders to offer safety to refugees

Oxfam International Pan Africa Director, Apollos Nwafor urges world leaders to offer safety to refugees. Photo: African Media

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA (ADV) – Oxfam, an international confederation of 19 organisations working together with partners and local communities in more than 90 countries, has urged the world leaders to honour their lawful responsibility and offer safety to refugee.

Oxfam International Pan Africa Director, Apollos Nwafor, said it was very crucial to think particularly about the fate of women, girls, the disabled and the elderly.

“These refugee categories are more exposed to violence during and after their migration routes. Their access to legal protection, safety, hygiene, a dignified life and respect for their rights are often further compromised,

“Although the risk is generally increased during transit, it does not disappear once in reception centres, refugee camps, camps or sites of internal displacement,” he said.

According to Oxfam, people are forced to leave their homes, often brutally everyday. This proves that there are many reasons for people to escape conflict, to flee the effects of climate change, like declining agricultural production, water scarcity and rising sea levels, or to leave with the hope of a better future elsewhere.

Currently, the African Union (AU) estimates that there are at least six million internally displaced people in the continent and this figure keeps growing due to the increasing conflicts in the continent.

“It is essential to understand the root causes and their consequences and to consider the implementation of the necessary measures to best anticipate flows and thereby plan solutions.” Said Nwafor.

Nwafor’s appeal comes amid the African Unions’ celebration of the 10th anniversary of the convention that adopted in 2009 to provide legal protection and assistance to millions of internally displaced persons, the refugee problem remains largely unresolved.

The AU is also set to hold its 32nd summit in Ethiopia this month. It is expected to be the first step in putting in place pragmatic solutions to further protect this population of migrants in distress by sharing responsibilities and becoming more supportive.

Whilst the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that about 1.2 million people are vulnerable and in need of resettlement, the number of places offered each year is only around 100 000.

© Bur-JHB – N.N – African Daily Voice (ADV) – Follow us on Twitter : @ADVinfo_en