World Refugee Day isn’t just about honouring the displaced – it’s a clarion call for inclusion and solutions for refugees.
It’s not just a statistic, it’s a powerful call for unity. In a world housing 35 million displaced souls due to war, violence, and discrimination, the support for refugees isn’t wavering. A newly published global study by Ipsos, spanning across 29 nations for World Refugee Day, reveals an uplifting narrative.
RELEVANT SUSTAINABLE GOALS
Public sentiment leans towards letting existing refugees stay
Three-quarters of adults worldwide still uphold the principle of granting refuge to those escaping war or persecution. It’s not just talk – a third of these empathetic souls have made personal strides to aid refugees within the past year. But as the saying goes, the only constant in life is change.
Four in five (81%) agree that refugees currently living in their country should be allowed to stay, evenly split between 41% who think more refugees should be allowed and 40% who think no more should be allowed. One in five (19%) think refugees currently in the country should be deported and no further allowed.
This global solidarity took a minor hit since 2022, with several countries reporting less positive views towards refugees. The silver lining? Great Britain’s shining. Support there is climbing since 2022 and has soared above the global average. The British public isn’t just saying yes to keeping refugees already in their country (with more than 80% in favour) – they’re also more open to welcoming more refugees and providing legal routes for asylum to avoid illegal entries.
Still, scepticism lurks in the shadows. Are all those claiming to be refugees genuine? Will they be able to assimilate into the host country’s social fabric? This paradoxical sentiment reflects in the public’s mixed reactions to policies towards asylum seekers – there’s more support for restricting asylum seekers’ movements until their claim is validated, and for sending applicants to a third country.
Creating an inclusive society is a multifaceted process that involves nurturing understanding, empathy, and open-mindedness in the public’s perception of refugees. The mixed perspectives outlined in the survey point towards opportunities for improvement in the journey towards inclusivity.
It’s encouraging to see positive views on the cultural and tourism contributions of refugees, highlighting that their rich and diverse backgrounds can enrich host societies. However, the concerns around crime, housing, and cleanliness indicate prevalent stereotypes and misunderstandings that need to be addressed.
This data comes from a study conducted by Ipsos between April 21 and May 5, 2023. The survey spanned 29 countries, with online platforms Global Advisor and IndiaBus used for data collection. In total, 21,816 adults aged 18 and older were interviewed from various age brackets across countries like India, Canada, Malaysia, New Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, the U.S., Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore, among others.
It requires comprehensive strategies, including education about refugees’ circumstances, promoting their positive contributions, and advocating for fair and supportive policies. It also requires improving the integration process for refugees, which includes providing adequate support in housing, education, and employment opportunities.
World Refugee Day isn’t just about honouring the displaced – it’s a clarion call for #inclusion and #solutions for refugees. Creating an inclusive future means actively working to dispel these misconceptions.
Lead image courtesy of Niji/Freepik.