The Global Refugee Forum is the largest international meeting on the subject of refugees and migration. The aim is to implement the Global Compact on Refugees, which the world adopted in 2018 to protect people who have fled their homelands and enable them to take charge of their lives again. At the same time, countries that take in particularly large numbers of refugees are to be given targeted support.
The focus is on ensuring a fairer division of responsibility: three out of four refugees these days find refuge in low and middle-income countries – often directly neighbouring their own. Refugees are to be given support to become more independent, by finding work or embarking on training. If people are forced to leave their homes and start from scratch elsewhere, it often impacts on their education biographies. That is why education is so important to help refugees take steps towards an independent, self-determined future. Because if they are offered the relevant opportunities, refugees will not merely be people seeking protection or recipients of assistance, but will be able to make an important contribution to society in their host countries.
Protecting and taking in refugees remains a joint task for the international community
When the Global Compact on Refugees was adopted five years ago, the signatory states agreed to meet regularly to exchange views, assess compliance with obligations and set new goals. This meeting is the Global Refugee Forum.
Germany occupies a special position in terms of international protection for refugees: it is the only country in the world to be both in the group of largest supporters of refugees and host countries and itself the host country for a large number of refugees. Germany is actively working to achieve a fairer spread of responsibility worldwide.
It is seeking ambitious political voluntary commitments in international protection for refugees. The aim is to get concrete pledges from the countries of the world as to how they intend, for example, to enhance protection for refugees or provide more support to host countries. Possible voluntary commitments include political initiatives specifically focusing on the needs of climate-vulnerable countries, such as pledges for aid programmes in the field of education, or the exchange of technical expertise.
At the Global Refugee Forum, the German delegation will advocate, among other things, for better access for refugees, especially women and girls, to education and jobs, and will make corresponding pledges. Another important issue is how the international community can find sustainable solutions to ease frequent causes of migration. The reasons why people flee their homelands include local conflicts – but also natural disasters, which are being exacerbated by climate change. Tackling violence against women and girls and other vulnerable groups of refugees is also a priority for Germany.