Public Service Unions stand up for Democracy, Peace and Refugee Rights

Every year on 20 June, we commemorate World Refugee Day. PSI stands in solidarity with all refugees around the world in defending their safety, dignity and human rights.

120 million. This is the current total number of people across the globe who have been forcibly displaced by the tragedies of wars, ongoing conflicts and violence, based on the report by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Forced displacement has consistently increased at unprecedented levels for the last 12 years. Countries like Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Haiti, Honduras and Ukraine, to name a few, have seen tens of millions uprooted from their homes due to vicious fighting, persecution and generalized violence.

Refugees and internally displaced persons live in constant uncertainty, with no access to jobs, livelihood and social protection

Almost 70 million are internally displaced, remaining within the borders of the State and trapped in the ongoing catastrophic attacks, as what we witness daily in the Gaza Strip, with more than 1.7 million or three-quarters of the Palestinian civilians, many of them women and children, trapped and facing starvation, malnutrition and disease outbreaks.

More than 13 million Syrians remain displaced either within the country or living in refugee camps in other countries, including in Europe.

Refugees and internally displaced persons live in constant uncertainty, with no access to jobs, livelihood and social protection. Even as they find refuge, they end up living in overcrowded camps and shelters that are vulnerable to climate and environmental risks such as floods, fires and earthquakes. 

Public Services International General Secretary Daniel Bertossa said:

"As the global voice of public service workers on the frontlines delivering health and care, emergency response, municipal services, utilities and other basic essentials for the well-being of communities, we continue to uphold our role in building peace and defending democracy in the workplace, in our institutions and in our societies.

Trade unions are amongst the biggest social movements in the world. We cannot let the far-right and conservative forces trample on our democratic values by attacking the most vulnerable members of our societies. Quality public services that are accessible to everyone regardless of national origin, migration or other status make welcoming societies. PSI unions are standing up for refugee rights. We defend human rights and access to quality public services for all. Together, we remain at the forefront of building democratic, peaceful and equitable societies."

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