22.06.2018

Cities worldwide stand #WithRefugees

Mayors from more than 50 cities around the world are calling on all local authorities and municipalities to join them in welcoming and including refugees in their communities. In the face of ever high levels of forced displacement – and alongside growing levels of xenophobia around the world - cities have joined together to show solidarity at this crucial time for people forced to flee.

The mayors are encouraging other cities to join the global effort. The announcement follows the release of new figures by UNHCR at the 19th of June, the UN Refugee Agency that show a continuation of a five-year upward trend in the number of people displaced by conflict or persecution worldwide. Read the letter of solidarity of the 50 cities #WithRefugees.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, praised the communities and individuals that are a positive force for inclusion. “Cities #WithRefugees sends an important message of solidarity with refugees. With the majority of refugees now living in towns and cities, mayors and community leaders play a critical role in mobilising support, providing services and opportunities, and helping refugees become members of communities. As we work towards a Global Compact on Refugees, it is imperative to recognize and support of local communities to welcome refugees.”

The Cities #WithRefugees statement also highlights the increasingly important role cities have taken on in hosting refugees. Nearly two out of three refugees settle in urban areas whose residents are often the first to help them upon arrival. At the global level – UN member states have been developing a Global Compact on Refugees to transform the way the international community responds to refugee crises and secure more predictable and equitable support for refugees and the countries and communities which host them. 

The Cities #WithRefugees campaign is part of the ongoing #WithRefugees Campaign launched in 2016 to support the development of the global compact on refugees. To date, the campaign has almost 2 million signatures to its core petition and approaching 19 million actions in support of refugees. Check out the Cities #WithRefugees view on the solidarity map to stay up-to-date with the campaign.

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