On World Refugee Day cities worldwide stand #WithRefugees
On World Refugee Day (June 20, 2018), mayors from more than 50 cities around the world, including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, Los Angeles, Manchester, Mexico City, New York, São Paulo and Sydney, are calling for more local authorities and municipalities to join them in welcoming and including refugees in their communities.
In the face of ever higher levels of forced displacement – and alongside growing levels of xenophobia around the world – cities have joined together to show solidarity at this crucial time for people forced to flee. The mayors are encouraging other cities to join the global effort.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, praised the communities and individuals that are a positive force for inclusion.
“Cities #WithRefugees sends an important message of solidarity with refugees. With the majority of refugees now living in towns and cities, mayors and community leaders play a critical role in mobilising support, providing services and opportunities, and helping refugees become members of communities. As we work towards a Global Compact on Refugees, it is imperative to recognize and support of local communities to welcome refugees.”
The Cities #WithRefugees statement also highlights the increasingly important role cities have taken on in hosting refugees. Nearly two out of three refugees settle in urban areas whose residents are often the first to help them upon arrival.
At the global level – UN member states have been developing a Global Compact on Refugees to transform the way the international community responds to refugee crises and secure more predictable and equitable support for refugees and the countries and communities which host them. Cities have a vital role to play.
(cover picture: Refugees at Budapest’s Keleti railway station. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons)