News & Updates
June 17, 2016
Dozens of faith leaders and celebrities have today urged governments around the world to take immediate action on the growing refugee crisis.
In a video released by the UN’s Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Benedict Cumberbatch, Dame Helen Mirren, Ben Stiller and more than 60 others join Archbishop Desmond Tutu in petitioning world leaders.
“Every day, war forces thousands of innocent families to leave their homes,” the video says.
“To escape the violence they leave everything behind… everything except their hopes and dreams. We believe all refugees deserve the right to protection and to live in safety. Together, we need to send a clear message to governments. We must act with solidarity and take shared responsibility. We stand together #WithRefugees. Please stand with us.”
A petition will be delivered to the UN headquarters in New York ahead of the September 19 UN General Assembly meeting, which will address the refugee crisis.
The petition urges international governments to ensure refugee families have somewhere safe to live, that each child has access to education and that every refugee is given the opportunity to make a positive contribution to their community through skills or work.
The number of people forced to flee their homes due to conflict or persecution is now higher than it’s ever been since the Second World War, and “we are in a period of deepening conflict and turmoil,” said Filippo Grandi, UN high commissioner for refugees.
“It affects and involves us all, and what it needs is understanding, compassion and political will to come together and find real answers for the refugee plight. This has become a defining challenge of our times.”
Grandi paid tribute to the thousands who have died making the perilous journey from war zones to Europe, and praised the “extraordinary outpouring of empathy and solidarity, as ordinary people and communities opened their homes and their hearts to refugees”.
“The #WithRefugees campaign and petition aims to amplify those voices of welcome and show that the world stands with refugees,” he said.
Source: Christian Today