All around the world, there are more than 65 million people seeking refuge and relocation. With so much controversy surrounding the acceptance of refugees, the safety of those who are fleeing harm is at stake. Fiji is welcoming of refugees, and the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) works to ensure that refugees in Fiji will be acknowledged and their concerns heard. Here are nine facts about refugees in Fiji.
9 Facts About Refugees in Fiji
- As of June 2, 2017, there are 12 confirmed refugees in the country.
- These 12 are left from the original group of 40 that arrived in Fiji in 2006.
- People seeking refuge come to Fiji from various countries, including Pakistan and Congo.
- Fijian refugees are guaranteed confirmation thanks to something called “a claim for asylum,” which is filed when an individual indicates the want to be acknowledged by the country as a refugee.
- A lot of people seeking refuge in Fiji are “climate refugees,” meaning that they are experiencing a sudden change in environment and climate in their country of origin and flee to Fiji for refuge.
- Fiji has offered to give refuge to its neighboring citizens of Kiribati and Tuvalu in the event of a disaster.
- Fiji is at high risk for climate-induced natural disasters as well. So while Fijian refugees may find solace in their new homes, they may still be at risk of being affected by natural disasters.
- The UNHCR covers Fijian refugees by ensuring funding to help protect their refugees.
- People seeing refuge do not always permanently reside in the country, seeing as Fiji is typically a temporary holding ground for refugees rather than a permanent residence.
These nine facts about people seeking refuge in Fiji suggest that the country has struggled on its own, but its efforts to make refugees feel accepted and taken care of displays its ability to welcome those seeking shelter with open borders.
– Trisha Noel McDavid