World Refugee Day was established by a decision of the UN General Assembly on 4th December 2000 and was first honored on 20th of June 2001. Every 20th of June, if not every day, we have to always remember and make a reference to that day and the people who have been forced to leave their home, their country in order to escape being persecuted due to their religion, race, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion or war. Each and every one of us have to admire the strength and the courage these people carry with them and show our respect towards them: the Refugees.
Millions of children around the world have been forced to leave their home and are now living under bad conditions. Unaccompanied children and the refugee children generally, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, may not be able to have access to services that were available to them before the pandemic. COVID-19 pandemic contributed in increasing the threats to their protection, the suspension of services regarding the processing of their asylum applications, the increase of sexual exploitation and abuse, the increase of crimes such as child marriage, child labor, and gender-based violence.
The restricted freedom of movement and also the suspension of services, that were available to them before the pandemic, had an important impact on these children and this is fact that we must be aware of and something that should keep us all alert in order to be by their side in any way we can.
Hope For Children honors this Day every year effectively by being by the side of the refugee children and unaccompanied children and fights by all means to ensure their rights. Our Organization, among other services, undertook the operation of private children’s shelters for the accommodation and support of unaccompanied children.
The shelters aim to provide unaccompanied children with more than just accommodation. They are set up to provide multi-disciplinary services to the children, which would cover all aspects of their daily lives for their best interest. They provide specialized legal services, ongoing psychosocial support and counseling and they also help for their smooth integration into the society or their family reunification.