Every minute eight people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror.
If conflict threatened your family, what would you do? Stay and risk your lives? Or try to flee, and risk kidnap, rape or torture?
For many refugees the choice is between the horrific or something worse.
UNHCR – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.
In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of some 7,685 people in more than 125 countries continues to help some 33.9 million persons.
Edited by Etienne Piguet, Antoine Pecoud and Paul de Guchteneire
Climate change is becoming an increasingly significant factor in migration, even if nightmare scenarios predicting a human tide of “environmental refugees” are unfounded and counter-productive, concludes the first authoritative overview of the relationship between climate change and migration, published by UNESCO and Cambridge University Press.
“Migration and Climate Change” brings together the views of 26 leading experts from a range of disciplines such as demography, climatology, economics, geography, anthropology and law. They present case studies from Bangladesh, Brazil, Nepal and the islands of the Pacific, analyzing the often alarming statistics and tearing down the myths associated with one of the most-discussed but least-understood aspects of climate change.
“This new publication is a vital contribution to one of the major debates of our time,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, who on 1 July took over the chairmanship of the Global Migration Group (1). “We have all read startling headlines warning that climate change will force tens of millions of people to move. This book looks at the evidence for these claims, shows us the real issues at stake – especially those concerning human rights. It also provides some sobering guidance for policy and decision-makers at local, national and international level.”
Representing movements in several directions (immigration, emigration, return migration) and stages (leaving, journeying, arriving), the film weaves together the stories of migrants from the distant past up until recent times narrated in their own voices, through their correspondence, and in the multi-generational memories passed to their descendants.
Filmed on location at the Ulster American Folk Park – an outdoor migration museum in County Tyrone – in the enclosed setting of a dimly-lit nineteenth-century ‘old world’ mass house, the film challenges the illusory fixedness of its backdrop with an exploration of lives moving through space and time, transcending standard chronologies and uncovering universal experience beyond the Irish context.