Now that Syrian newcomers have arrived safely in Canada, they can start building their new lives. As the focus shifts from managing the large number of arrivals to integrating families, particularly youth, we see a critical need for more collaboration, research, and knowledge sharing of best practices in Canada and around the world.
Some mothers feel grateful that they're still alive and at least have their children with them. One mother, who has been raising her children in this tented settlement for the past four years, said she wished they had stayed behind in Syria. She said it would be better to have died than to be living as they are.
Girls living in poverty across the developing world are also much more likely to be subjected to violence than their brothers. Many believe girls have no business being in school. Many are forced against their will into marriage and intercourse in their teens. Two out of three victims of child trafficking around the world are girls.
We have learned from Bebe that the spirit of female refugees all over the world is unwavering. Every day more than 7.3 million women live and work, regardless of setbacks, to provide for their families. Women, who like all people, want nothing more than to have a better life for themselves and for those they love.
Globally an estimated 15.2 million individuals have officially been identified as refugees. Of those 15.2 million, 48% are female. That's more than 7.3 million mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives, who by the very definition of 'refugee' are unable to return to their homes for reasons far beyond their control.
There are an estimated 12 million displaced people on the planet at this moment and most of them are children. News of this came around the same time as the controversy surrounding Bill C-31, and the way the Harper government wants to crack down on immigration and refugees. But this World Refugee Day, let's be careful and conscious in our assessment of exactly who these people are.