July 19, 2024

General Studies Paper 2

Context

  • As we commemorate yet another World Refugee Day (June 20), we honour the courage and resilience of the 103 million individuals who have endured forced displacement due to conflicts and unrest worldwide. These staggering figures mask countless human stories marked by loss and shattered dreams.

Importance of the day

  • This day is a reminder of our collective responsibility as global citizens and a call for engagement and empathy.
  • It is a day to promote solidarity between communities, and, most importantly, to reflect on the importance of welcoming refugees and displaced persons into our communities.
  • Global conflicts which include the ongoing wars in Ukraine, Myanmar and Sudan among others, and the protracted situations in Afghanistan, and Somalia present an unprecedented challenge.
  • Sadly, South and Southeast Asia are not immune to the challenges of displacement. India is home to some 250,000 forcibly displaced persons, with women and children constituting half of that population.
  • India continues to graciously host and assist refugees and asylum-seekers within its territory — a testament to our shared humanity.

Refugees want opportunities, not handouts

  • For refugee youth, it is not just a matter of talent; it is a matter of prospects.
  • They want opportunities, not handouts.
  • They wish to be self-reliant and are eager to use their talents and passions to contribute to the communities hosting them.
  • We can all do more to give them hope and those opportunities while they are away from home.

Dismantling the barriers

  • Refugees and asylum seekers encounter a myriad of obstacles, such as legal recognition and challenges in obtaining government-issued documents, which hinder their access to essential services, including financial support and health care.
  • It is incumbent upon us to dismantle these barriers and ensure that they are afforded equal opportunities in employment, education, housing, and health care.
  • Our efforts in creating an inclusive society must cater to the unique needs of refugee youth.
  • To ensure that truly no one is left behind, we should engage with and include youth, especially refugee youth, in the realisation of the Sustainable Development Agenda.
  • Addressing the rising number of the forcibly displaced is an urgent moral imperative that demands our collective action.
  • The Global Compact on Refugees acknowledges the magnitude of the displacement crisis and calls for solidarity through a whole of society approach.
  • It is built on the understanding that the responsibility towards the forcibly displaced is not limited to governments but extends to each one of us including individuals, the private sector, non-government organisations and community-based organisations.
  • It also recognises that the Global South is disproportionately affected and that host communities need assistance.

 Conclusion

  • This is a critical moment in our lifetimes when we have the power to shape future generations. And we invite individuals, the private sector and governments to do their part in supporting youth from refugee and host communities. Together, we can truly ensure the Government of India’s vision of ‘Viksit Yuva Viksit Bharat’ is realised.

 

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