Last year a record 68.5 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide - an increase of 2.9 million from 2016. Of these, 52% of refugees were children.
In recognising this need, Meriden MP, Dame Caroline Spelman attended an event in Parliament, hosted by the United Nations Human Right’s Council, to affirm her support for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
The event, which was held to mark World Refugee Day, was attended by Common’s Speaker, John Bercow MP, Foreign Office Minister, Alistair Burt MP and supported by celebrity campaigners, Cate Blanchett and Colin Firth.
Commenting on the event, Dame Caroline said, “I was pleased to have the opportunity to attend this event to demonstrate my support for the work of the United Nations Human Right’s Council and make a pledge to stand #withrefugees”.
“Having visited refugee camps in Pakistan, I have seen the challenges faced by some of the world’s most vulnerable people. On world refugee day, I am delighted to pledge to continue to work with UNHRC and other aid agencies on this important issue and lend my voice to support those who so often go unheard”.
Earlier this year Dame Caroline led a Westminster Hall debate to raise awareness of the plight of Internally Displaced People (IDPs). These are people who have been displaced from their homes by conflict or disaster, often for very long periods of time. She also sponsored a debate in Parliament to raise awareness of the plight of Yezidi women fleeing Daesh in Syria and met with the Prime Minister to champion the Open Doors “Hope for the Middle East” petition in Parliament.
This week, UNHCR released their annual Global Trends Report. Key findings of this year’s report are that:
- A record 68.5 million people who were forcibly displaced worldwide in 2017, an increase of 2.9 million from 2016.
- 85% of the world’s refugees are hosted in developing regions.
- 52% refugees are children.
- 31 people were displaced every minute in 2017
- In 2017, there was a 54% drop in the number of refugees submitted by UNHCR for resettlement from 2016 due to the decline in quotas. Against this context, and as we outlined in this year’s resettlement fact sheet, it is encouraging that the UK is continuing its world leading role as the second largest country for resettlement submissions in 2017.
For more information on Dame Caroline’s efforts to champion refugees please refer to the following press releases (*external links):