Hastings' Statement on World Refugee Day
Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL) made the following statement in observance of World Refugee Day:
“Each June 20th we recognize World Refugee Day, a day on which we reflect on the importance of working to promote democracy and freedom around the world, while rededicating our efforts to do all that we can to offer protection to those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes.
“The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that there are currently over 50 million refugees worldwide, the highest number since World War II. Not a day goes by where we are not confronted with news articles and images of individuals forced to flee their native lands to escape religious persecution, brutal human rights abuses, and civil war. Sadly, these brave people are too often met with nearly insurmountable challenges as they seek protection and a better life outside of their homeland. Today, millions of Syrians are both internally displaced and have sought refuge in neighboring countries where they face enormous hurdles to gaining asylum, and as the conflict continues this alarming statistic will undoubtedly continue to grow in size.
“Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have remained at the forefront of this issue, traveling the globe to visit refugee camps and working with my colleagues to do all that I can to ensure that the United States takes steps to protect refuges around the world and here at home. On this Refugee Day, I call on the international community to redouble our efforts to improve the lives of displaced persons and to take more collaborative steps to work to alleviate suffering, violence and persecution worldwide.”
Congressman Alcee L. Hastings serves as Senior Member of the House Rules Committee, Ranking Democratic Member of the U.S. Helsinki Commission, and Co-Chairman of the Florida Delegation.