In response to new data published today (18 June 2020) in the annual Global Trends report of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement:
I am deeply shocked by the renewed rise in the number of refugees and displaced persons around the world. At the end of 2019, more than 79.5 million people were forcibly displaced. It is the largest number ever.
Behind this number lie very real life stories. These people’s lives were in order; they had very real visions of their future – visions now brutally destroyed by war and violence.
The international community is called upon to make a joint and determined effort to protect displaced persons and meet their basic needs, to support host countries and to create better prospects for refugees. This includes redoubling political efforts to address the human rights violations, wars and violence that are driving people from their homes.
This is all the more necessary in view of the global spread of COVID-19. Displaced persons are particularly at risk of being affected and also especially hard hit by COVID-related restrictions. They need our help and support. Even with comprehensive pandemic containment measures, such as border closures, we must ensure that refugees are protected around the world.