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Refugees: Caritas Europa calls on “EU political leaders to ensure safe pathways and dignified reception for those seeking protection”

In 2022, more than 100 million people have been forcibly displaced due to conflict, violence, human rights violations, and persecution in countries such as Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Ukraine and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is “a record figure representing 1% of the world population”, Caritas Europa said in a statement marking World Refugee Day. In particular, Caritas Europa calls on “EU decision makers to ensure safe pathways, dignified reception, and integration support for all people seeking refuge in the EU, regardless of their country of origin. “As shown by the positive response to those fleeing Ukraine, where there is political will, there is a way”, Caritas Europa remarked. Over 1.5 million people worldwide are in need of resettlement. In 2021, however, only around 20,000 refugees were admitted to the EU through resettlement or humanitarian admission. “My children in Somalia always talk about the explosions and terrorist attacks that still persist 30 years since the start of the war. That’s why I came to Belgium, and I’d like to bring them here”, said Ali Adan Osman, asylum seeker in Belgium, assisted by Caritas Belgium. For Caritas Europa, resettlement is a matter of global solidarity: countries near conflict zones have been accepting almost 90% of the world’s displaced for years. “Walls and fences at the borders cannot become the norm. People on the move should not be perceived as a threat, and pushbacks at our borders must stop immediately. Instead, we urge European leaders to provide a humane response to all, drawing on the welcoming response to those displaced from Ukraine”, concluded Maria Nyman, Secretary General of Caritas Europa.

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