World Refugee Day. COOPI's Commitment In Latin America.
19-06-2023 | di COOPI

World Refugee Day. COOPI's Commitment In Latin America.

Today, June 20, is World Refugee Day, but do we really know who refugees are? They are first and foremost people who have had to leave their countries due to conflict or persecution. Forced to leave their homes, jobs and stability such as family and friends, these people flee in search of a safe place. Very often they do not have time to say goodbye to their loved ones or pack a suitcase. The conditions they face are extremely difficult. For this reason, their protection is guaranteed by international law, which states that they should not be deported or returned to situations where their lives or freedoms are at risk.

World Refugee Day, which was established with the aim of intensifying efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts and contribute to peace and security for refugees, was called by the United Nations in Resolution 55/76 ratified in 2000; it is celebrated annually on June 20 and commemorates the approval of the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees by the General Assembly in 1951. It was first celebrated in 2001, on the 50th anniversary of the Convention.

This day is an opportunity to encourage and convey understanding and empathy for refugee people in light of the complicated circumstances they face and not to forget about their presence, as well as to defend their i rights prominently. In addition to this, the particular resilience of those facing this difficult situation is celebrated.

Engagement in Latin America and the Caribbean

COOPI - International Cooperation commemorates World Refugee Day through its work around the world, including Latin America and the Caribbean. The year 2023, in the Latin American region, was marked by a severe economic crisis caused by the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic crisis and the war in Ukraine, which caused political instability in several countries in the region, in addition to the difficult situation in Venezuela. All this has made it increasingly possible to violate the human rights of refugees and migrants. According to the United Nations, there are 20 million displaced people in the region. That is why since 2018 COOPI has been supporting refugees in the region with a comprehensive and integrated approach through projects in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), protection, livelihoods, and socioeconomic integration.

COOPI works for refugees in the following Latin American countries: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela, with 326,887 direct beneficiaries and more than 2 million indirect beneficiaries. 89 COOPI professionals develop projects together with major donors such as the European Union, BPRM, UNDP, UNICEF, COOPI Suisse - FOSIT, IOM, ECHO, OCHA, and local partners who are key to implementation.

COOPI is committed to defending and protecting the rights of refugees in harmony with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), leaving no one behind. It is important not only to protect, but also, and more importantly, to improve living conditions. Especially, this year COOPI in Latin America is committed to focusing on their plight with activities that provide income-generating opportunities.