20. June 2024
World Refugee Day

Refugees Need Our Solidarity Now More Than Ever


At the end of 2023, an estimated 117.3 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations, and events seriously disturbing public order. The results of 2023 constitute a rise of 8 percent, or 8.8 million people, compared to the end of 2022.


Unfortunately, the numbers continue to grow year by year increases over the last 12 years. Based on operational data, UNHCR estimates that forced displacement has continued to increase in the first four months of 2024 and by the end of April was likely to have exceeded 120 million. The statistics appall everyone, but on this World Refugee Day, we should ask ourselves what should we do to stop it.

Military conflicts: the main reason for displacement

Every year, millions of people are forced to leave their homes due to conflict, violence, human rights violations, persecution, disasters, and the impacts of climate change. Yet, around 52% of all these refugees originated from only three countries: Syria, Ukraine, and Afghanistan. This indicates that the greatest reason for forced displacement is a consequence of the failure to uphold peace and security. As the amount and frequency of conflicts have increased, so has the number of people forced to flee each year.



Conflict in Sudan broke out in April 2023, causing one of the largest humanitarian and displacement crises in the world. More than 6 million people were displaced within the country, with a further 1.2 million fleeing to neighboring countries. In Myanmar, escalating violence following the military takeover in February 2021 displaced more than 1.3 million people within the country in 2023.


However, as of February 2024, nearly 6.5 million refugees from Ukraine have been recorded globally, while an additional 3.7 million internally displaced people remain within the country. “As a result, over 10 million individuals, especially women and children, are particularly vulnerable and potential victims of human and sex trafficking,” says Ann Kathrin Linsenhoff.

Vulnerable State of Refugees

According to the European Commission, in addition to frequently facing difficulties in obtaining protection, refugees, asylum seekers, vulnerable migrants, and internally displaced people (IDPs) lack access to food, shelter, and other necessities. Their unstable legal situation and political aid in the nations in which they currently reside may be the cause of this. Since they attempt to evade abuse, exploitation, violence, incarceration, or arrest, the most vulnerable individuals are frequently difficult to approach. In Ukraine, this translates into the fact that within months of the invasion by the Russian Federation, global searches for Ukrainian women's escort services had increased by 300%.

How We Can Help

Finding solutions to the difficulties of those compelled to flee also entails ending conflicts so that they can safely return home, making sure they have opportunities to prosper in the communities that have welcomed them, and giving nations the means to accept and support refugees. The primary factors to take into account when searching for long-lasting solutions are the voluntary nature of the solution; the rights, needs, and legitimate interests of the displaced population themselves; and the ability to make educated decisions.

Addressing Prolonged Conflicts

Often, resolving displacement situations in a given country involves a combination of solutions. Working towards durable solutions means gradually diminishing the needs and vulnerabilities of displacement-affected communities while strengthening their capacities, and skills, and increasing their resilience, so that displaced persons can increasingly enjoy their human rights without discrimination based on their displacement.


Resolving displacement situations typically centers on finding durable solutions that can be achieved through: Return (and sustainable reintegration), local integration, and resettlement. For IDPs, this means returning to their home or at least their home community/area. For refugees, repatriation is to the home country but not necessarily to the home community; local integration; and resettlement, which for IDPs means relocation elsewhere in the same country, and for refugees, resettlement in a third country.

© © Aenne Mueller Photography

On this World Refugee Day, let us remember that refugees need our solidarity and support now more than ever. By understanding the reasons behind their displacement, recognizing their vulnerabilities, and working toward sustainable solutions, we can help ensure a better future for millions of displaced individuals around the world.