STRANDED REFUGEES NEED RESETTLEMENT

Rain is Beautiful

A film by Nick Francis ( speak-it.org ) & Marc Silver ( marcsilver.net )

Omar, a Somali refugee, fled the war in Libya last year to live in a camp on the country's border with Tunisia. This episode of his story, Rain is Beautiful, begins with emotional farewells at the camp as Omar leaves his friends behind to begin a new life in Sandviken in northern Sweden. He is met at Stockholm airport by the Swedish migration board, visits a doctor, gets his 'right to remain' signed and learns what margarine is.

 

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Hundreds of thousands of refugees are stuck in limbo. They cannot go home because of war and persecution. Some end up in refugee camps that are unsafe and located near conflict areas for months, even years at a time. Others live in situations that leave them vulnerable, exposed to abuse or unable to access fundamental human rights. For some of these refugees, the only hope is to be accepted for resettlement by another country that will give them a chance to restart their lives in safety.

Resettlement is one of three durable solutions for refugees promoted by the UN and plays a key role in the international community’s response to the needs of refugees. It gives them immediate protection and a long-lasting solution. UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, estimates that 172, 196 people are in need of resettlement for 2012 alone. The total number of resettlement places actually being offered by governments is approximately 80,000 per year. This means that only around half of those in need of resettlement will benefit from this life-changing solution.

European Union countries currently offer between 4,000 and 5,000 places each year, compared to over 50,000 places offered by the USA, 7,000 places by Canada and 6,000 by Australia in recent years. Europe can and must increase its resettlement places.

Amnesty International, together with five other organizations is campaigning for resettlement places offered by EU states to increase to a minimum of 20,000 annually by 2020.

URGENT RESETTLEMENT SOLUTIONS FOR SOMALI REFUGEES

More than 970,000 Somalis have fled the ongoing armed conflict, human rights crisis and humanitarian emergency in southern and central Somalia and now live in neighbouring countries.

The majority of Somali refugees are in Kenya (520,000), Yemen (208,000) and Ethiopia (190,000).

Many of the Somali refugees in Kenya live in the Dadaab complex –the world’s largest refugee camp (add size).

Dadaab complex is extremely overcrowded and living conditions are harsh. Security there has deteriorated significantly over the last year. Two aid workers have been kidnapped, refugee leaders have been killed, and the road used by humanitarian convoys to the camps has been targeted.

As a result, humanitarian organizations have had to drastically reduce their activities and focus only on delivering life saving assistance.

The Kenyan authorities and UNHCR are struggling to support the huge number of refugees in Dadaab. And the situation is not about to change: as the armed conflict in southern and central Somalia continues, the refugees will not be able to return home any time soon. Some of them have been in Dadaab since 1992. For the most vulnerable refugees, resettlement is the best and most realistic solution.

Watch a Life on Hold (Right click or option-click the link and choose "Save As..." to download this file.)

I want to help 20,000 refugees to start a new life in Europe by 2020.

Europe, now is your time to act: Refugees forced out of Libya urgently need resettlement

In the line of fire: Somalia's children under attack

Somali refugee crisis: Kenya’s opening of camp extension only a first step

How you can help

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE