Passengers on the Budapest metro are getting the message that some journeys are longer and less comfortable than the daily commute to work.
“No one chooses to be a refugee” and “Refugees are just like you and me” read posters put up by UNHCR at 11 metro stations for World Refugee Day.
The poster campaign, by UNHCR in Central Europe, is a way to reach the public in the socially-distanced times of Covid-19. As well as posters at stations on the M2 and M3 lines, nine billboards have also gone up around the city.
Despite the pandemic, people have continued to flee wars, violence, persecution and human rights violations. In 2020, the number rose to almost 82.4 million, nearly double the figures of a decade ago.
“Never before did so many people have to flee their homes – more than 82 million. This is a shocking number,” said Roland Schilling, UNHCR Representative for Central Europe.
“It is eight times the population of Hungary. And nobody chooses to be a refugee. People have to escape war, violence, persecution. And all of them need safety, protection. Children, many of them are children, have to go back to school. And we need to help. We cannot look away. Please join us and help.”
The posters and billboards show refugee families from different countries, with their children. UNHCR estimates that almost one million children were born as refugees between 2018 and 2020.
Being a refugee can lead to a life of diminished opportunities. While 77 per cent of primary-aged refugee children are in school, the figure drops to 31 per cent for secondary schooling and just 3 per cent for higher education.
The global community has been marking World Refugee Day for 20 years. This year, UNHCR calls for greater inclusion of refugees in health, education and sport. Covid-19 has taught us that no one is safe until everyone is safe. But together we can achieve anything. Together we heal, learn and shine.