World Refugee Day

To commemorate the World Refugee Day is an opportunity to honor refugees all over the world, acknowledge their courage and resilience.

Today, 20th of June, we are marking the World Refugees Day. There are no words to describe the complexities and obstacles that millions of people experience all around the world on yearly basis. Being conscious of this entangled reality, which affects the entire humankind, the UOC-UNITAR joint MA in Conflict, Peace & Security intends to contribute to the understanding of this phenomena by creating awareness and offering a multidisciplinary academic approach.

Taking this opportunity to endeavor public consciousness we asked Prof. Dr. Nikoloski, Assistant Professorial Research Fellow of the London School of Economics and course instructor of the MA in Conflict, Peace & Security, to write a few words.

More pressing challenges stemming from environmental shocks and fragile states, the problem of refugees is expected to be exacerbated in the short to medium term

“Today we are marking the international world day of refugees, 20th of June. And while the first association sparks images of the rivers of people cross the Balkans on their way from the worn torn regions in Iraq and Syria to Western Europe, we ought to understand that the problem is far from resolved. More importantly, as we face more pressing challenges stemming from environmental shocks and fragile states, the problem of refugees is expected to be exacerbated in the short to medium term.

For example, in a recent study published by the World Bank using household survey data from a wide variety of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, show indeed that environmental shocks (e.g. droughts) are the most common type of shocks that households experience. More importantly migration is a common coping strategy for poor households in rural areas. In Niger, for instance, poor households were three times more likely to migrate for work as a coping strategy, compared with non-poor households. In Malawi and Uganda, poor households are also more likely to report working more to cope with a shock. This finding broadly holds when controlling for different types of shock (Nikoloski et al, 2018).

We can only imagine that as droughts intensify and as more and more countries (and tribes within countries) fight for pressure water resources, that the situation could get even worse, with many people forced out of their homes, ultimately becoming refugees.”

Taking into account the plural reality and challenges that refugees face, UOC and UNITAR intend to contribute to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through its joint programs as the MA in Conflict, Peace & Security.