Hutus are seen at the Internally Displaced Persons Camp. Tensions are high between Hutus and Kobos since the population started to return to the village after its evacuation by Rwandan Hutus Rebels (FDLR) in November 2015
The six richest countries – which make up more than half the global economy – host less than nine percent of the world’s refugees, an aid group has said. The United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom hosted 2.1 million refugees and asylum seekers last year – just 8.88 percent of the global total, the report from the Britain-based Oxfam said. Poorer countries, in contrast, have accommodated most of those looking for save havens, Oxfam said. “Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, South Africa as well as the Occupied Palestinian Territory host over 50 percent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers but account for under two percent of the world’s economy,” it said.
“While Germany has recently welcomed far more refugees than the other of the wealthiest nations, there still remains a major gap with poorer countries providing the vast majority of safe havens for refugees.” Oxfam called on governments to host more refugees and to give more help to countries sheltering the majority of them – ahead of two major summits about refugees and so-called economic migrants in the US in September.
‘It is shameful’
“It is shameful so many governments are turning their backs on the suffering of millions of vulnerable people who have fled their homes and are often risking their lives to reach safety,” Winnie Byanyima, the executive director of Oxfam, said. “Poorer countries are shouldering the duty of protecting refugees when it should be a shared responsibility, but many richer countries are doing next to nothing.” An unprecedented 65 million people from around the world have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict, persecution and violence, the report said.
More than a third of them are refugees and asylum seekers, Oxfam said, and the remainder have had to move within their own countries. “Too many people who have taken treacherous journeys to reach safety end up living in degrading situations littered with abuse, hostility and discrimination, and too few governments are doing anywhere near enough to help or protect them,” Byanyima said.
Many photographers and journalists have been documenting the refugee crisis to show the world the situation on the shores of Europe in Lesbos, at Macedonia’s border in Idomeni, in Calais and other locations. People are often caught on camera in their terrible and frustrated moments, when they cry after jumping off the dinghies on Greek islands or suffer in camps under terrible circumstances. Reporters travel with the refugees, interview them and collect their stories, trying to get as close as they can so that they may truly understand and capture their lives. But as outsiders, they can never truly capture the refugee experience.
In December 2015, photographer Kevin McElvaney started the #RefugeeCameras project, which would allow refugees to document their own journey with single-use cameras, giving them the opportunity to tell the world their own story. McElvaney travelled along the refugee track from Izmir to Lesbos, Athens and Idomeni. At all these stations he met refugees, collected their stories and handed out cameras, some of which were returned in a pre-paid envelope. McElvaney received seven of 15 cameras back with images that show a rare glimpse into the refugee route.
A boy wakes up in the port of Piraeus, where nearly 1,500 refugees live in a makeshift camp. In partnership with local aid groups, Unicef currently supports a drop-in centre for refugee and migrant women and children in Athens and a mobile child protection unit in the port of Piraeus.