A historic declaration for refugees and migrants

Last Monday 193 world leaders gathered in the United Nations Headquarters to approve the New York Declaration aimed at providing a more coordinated and humane response to the current refugee crisis. It was the first summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.

According to the U.N. Refugee Agency, there are now more than 21.3 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers, and 40.8 million migrants who have been forced to flee due to armed conflict or in search of a better life.

The new declaration seeks to standardize responses to refugee situations and provide better education prospects for refugee children. It also aims to improve their working opportunities outside their countries of origin. Furthermore, plans for a campaign to combat xenophobia are considered.

The New York Declaration on Migrants and Refugees may be seen as a document which contains no concrete commitments and is not legally binding, but it expands the concept of refugee response beyond humanitarian aid in order to include matters like education and job opportunities.

Global education in the spotlight

United Nations education envoy Gordon Brown affirmed on Friday before launching a plan for the largest educational expansion in history that education is definitely the “civil rights struggle of our generation”.

Brown leads currently the international commission on financing global education opportunity according to which, under the new global development goals agreed last year, all children should be receiving primary and secondary education by the year 2030. Nevertheless, presenting the commission’s findings at the UN in New York, he admitted that $30 bn in additional funding was needed in order to achieve the goal of ensuring a full primary and secondary education for every child in the world.

Unless there is a major sudden transformation in education funding, almost half of the world’s children will face the probability of growing up without decent schooling. Gordon Brown affirms that states need to increase their investments in education as well as that it is essential to promote a significant reform of international institutions so as to deliver effective funds into schooling.

Finally, he also remarked the need of an emergency injection of $400m for the 30 million refugee children around the world who are in need of urgent and proper education.

German Division Over Refugees

The leaders of Germany’s coalition parties are not agreeing as how to answer the high demand of refugees. The main disagreement amongst them is about how and where to process these people. Right now Germany is the largest refugee host of Europe, and it is expected that in 2015 they will host 1 million refugees. At the moment, Bavaria is the German Region that is hosting most of them and some politicians have demanded of Merkel to slow down the rapidly growing flow of refugees and to create camps all over the country instead of just Bavaria. Other German politicians have demanded even tougher measures.