World Refugee Day: Quality public services vital in promoting human rights, inclusion of refugees

"The labour movement has worked hard to create inclusive communities to welcome families and ensure they receive what they need as they start a new life. This is just one example of our commitment to helping, and working with, the most vulnerable." — Larry Brown, NUPGE President

Ottawa (19 June 2017) — In commemoration of World Refugee Day, Public Services International (PSI) calls for solidarity with the millions of refugees worldwide, underscoring that quality public services are vital in promoting their human rights, inclusion and integration in societies.

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is a proud member of PSI.

UN World Refugee Day highlights the dangers as refugees flee violence and attacks

“Today, as we mark the United Nations World Refugee Day, we bring solidarity to the plight of the millions of refugees — women, children and families — who are fleeing from situations of conflicts, persecution, violence and human rights violations. Yet, as refugees trek dangerous journeys in search of protection, many of them end up in poverty, forced labour, exclusion, and experience violence and racist attacks. Of particular concern is the situation of refugee children.  Due to the lack of social protection, access to quality public services and decent work for adult members, refugee children are deprived of their basic human rights, such as health, nutrition, decent shelter, safety, social care and education,” says Rosa Pavanelli, PSI General Secretary.

There are currently 65.3 million people displaced globally, which is the highest displacement on record. Of these, 21.3 million are refugees, over half are children below 18 years of age, and almost half are women and girls. The 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants mandates the United Nations to forge a Global Compact on Refugees, along with a Global Compact on Migrants by 2018.

Public services vital to protect refugees, promote human rights

“While we recognize the work of various governments and actors in society caring for refugees, we also witness many corruption scandals in the privatized services that are stealing precious resources for refugee assistance. This is one more reason why we must not neglect public services as vital in the protection of refugees and in the promotion of their human rights,” says Pavanelli.

“Public service workers, along with local authorities, are at the frontlines in receiving refugees and asylum seekers, providing emergency response, shelter, food, health care, education and other basic needs, including in job placement and integration. Ensuring decent work, building capacity of frontline workers and funding of quality public services will help promote social inclusion, reduce inequalities and fight racism and xenophobia,” stresses Pavanelli.

"Canadians have opened their arms with generosity and eagerness to help support the settlement of Syrian refugees in our country,." said Larry Brown, NUPGE President. "The labour movement has worked hard to create inclusive communities to welcome families and ensure they receive what they need to start a new life. This is just one example of our commitment to helping, and working with, the most vulnerable."

 


NUPGE

The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. ~ NUPGE