World Refugee Day – opinion by Santos M. Cavero, Managing Director, Dianova Spain
The number of displaced persons and refugees around the world has reached historic levels. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 1.19 million people will require resettlement in 2017, a 72% increase over 2014. The UNHCR Global Trends Report 2014 estimated that persecution, conflicts, general violence, or human rights violations have displaced 59.5 million people around the world. We expect that this number will continue to rise and that the Global Trends Report 2015 report will confirm that there are at least 60 million displaced people worldwide.
This is why at Dianova Spain, we feel it is more urgent than ever to remind ourselves of the solidarity between peoples. In 2001, the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees prompted the UN to declare World Refugee Day, which we mark today. The democratic nations that share the principles of the Geneva Convention must prioritize fulfilling their duty to protect displaced people around the world.
World Refugee Day reminds us that millions have been displaced by force, and that we have a duty to them. We must ensure that there are bridges of solidarity connecting us to those displaced people.
Dianova Spain is joining in global efforts to strengthen those bridges, which are the basis for Dianova programs that serve immigrants and refugees.
Dianova Spain’s Humanitarian Care Program (HCP) aims to respond to the situations that immigrants face. The HCP recognizes that providing exceptional care to migrants is the best public, social, and humanitarian response to immigration. The HCP is based on other programs that promote social and workplace integration of immigrants, emphasizing the values of gender equality and non-discrimination. The HCP is part of Dianova Spain’s Immigrant Integration Program.
The IIP is also notable for the scope of its social action. It is just one of Dianova Spain’s projects based firmly in international and Spanish standards for responding to refugees and asylum seekers. These programs offer a variety of services for those seeking temporary international protection as stateless persons. They focus especially on migrants who arrive with special upon arriving or who are vulnerable.
Five separate Dianova Spain projects form the core of the IIP:
- The Knowledge and Awareness Project
- he Training and Continuing Education Project
- The Group Care Project
- The Equipment and Adjustment Project
- The Comprehensive Employment Project
The International Protection Programme consists of three stages: reception, integration, and autonomy of program beneficiaries. Each stage corresponds to the need for refugees or other beneficiaries of protection to integrate fully into society that receives them. Full integration will allow refugees or beneficiaries the chance opportunity to develop personally and socially.
Dianova Spain aims to facilitate the construction of bridges that refugees can cross to a new life. Dianova programs aim to ensure that those who have fled their homes in search of a better life find solidarity with reliable partners. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon World Refugee Day message last year noted that, “Refugees are just like other people, and just like you and me. They led normal lives before fleeing their homes, and their main goal is to recover those lives…We need to remind each other of what we have in common, celebrate tolerance and diversity, and open our hearts to refugees around the world.”
We couldn’t have expressed the message any better.