65.6 million people around the world are fleeing crises caused by conflict and persecution. Over half of them are children.
From South Sudan to Syria, people are leaving their homes for the same reason: they can either stay and home and risk their lives or leave in the hope of finding safety elsewhere.
The conflict in Syria has become one of the largest producers of refugees. The majority of Syrians are displaced within Syria's borders, while millions of others have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Others have attempted the dangerous journey to Europe in the hope of finding safety and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.
"No one puts thier children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land" - Warsan Shire
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1. People are Fleeing Their Countries to Seek Safety from Danger
As conflicts across the world continue (many of which show no signs of stopping), thousands of families are forced to leave their homes for the possibility of safety elsewhere.
Now in its seventh year, the war in Syria has killed and injured over two million people. 12.6 million Syrians, around two thirds of the pre-war population, have been displaced.
And in Afghanistan, more than one million people have been displaced by decades of conflict and natural disasters.
2. Neighbouring Countries Have Taken in Millions of Refugees - But They Can Only Do So Much...
As neighbouring countries struggle to accommodate significant numbers of new arrivals, refugees lack access to basic services such as health care. In addition, restrictions on work have made it impossible for families to support themselves.
As a result of the strain on these countries combined with the inability for most refugees to provide for their families, many still search for a place to fully rebuild their lives.
3. Lack of Legal Routes to Safety
Conflict forces 20 people from their home every minute. But rather than offering a safe home to a reasonable number of these vulnerable refugees, Europe's response has been to shut borders and build fences. Without safe and legal routes for those that needs them, many refugees attempt risky journeys.
European leaders know that there are successful ways to ensure that refugees can reach safety. Resettlement is a comprehensive process which moves vulnerable refugees from the country where they have gone to seek safety, to a new country where they can have guaranteed safety and the ability to rebuild their lives.
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How Can I Help?
Understanding the reasons why refugees are forced to flee reminds us that now is the time to be on the right side of history. Instead of simply saying 'new again', we must say 'not now, and not ever'.
And you can help! By emailing your European representative here, you can call on them to pass a historic bill for a coordinated refugee resettlement programme in Europe. The more people who stand up for refugees the more likely it is that the bill will pass! Get involved and learn more about our Together For Refugees campaign here.