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Refugees of the Present Day
Written by Hayeon Shin | Published. 2020.10.20 21:19 | Count : 281

Throughout history, many countries have engaged in wars, creating refugees. Now that more countries are stable and developed, many people are able to enjoy stable lives, but there are still many people who are unable to do so. Countries such as Yemen and Syria, have consistently waged long civil wars, leading to refugee crises. These days, facilities and groups that support refugees are being established, and refugees’ lives are improving. 

Over time, however, refugee-related issues have emerged, such as terrorists hiding in refugee groups and refugees committing assault. So, how well are these refugee support groups working?

To better understand this issue, I decided to interview Miah Park, head of the Korean office of the International Organization for Migration(IOM), which is one of the many groups dedicated to serving immigrants and refugees. IOM helps immigrants and refugees settle down and adjust to their new homes, provides supplies to refugee camps, and tries to correct misperceptions of immigrant and refugee issues. Park said that refugees are created by civil wars, among many other causes, and they have to be protected because it is dangerous to be in a country at war. She said that the international community should fairly recognize people as refugees and support them, but it is sad because the number of countries that support refugees is decreasing.

[Interviewing Miah Park. Photo taken by Jerica Yoon]

In Korea, the refugee acceptance rate is also low, even though the country’s governmental systems are developing and trying to protect refugees. So, it is important to make sure that citizens understand refugee issues and are encouraged to provide support. To address this issue, there is a law in Korea called the “Refugee Resettlement Law,” which helps refugees living in harsh environments and camps.

Miah Park highlighted that people need to think about the role they can play in Korean society, and that we should take an interest in refugee issues and look for ways to contribute. She said that to make a better world, people’s efforts and practices are important, and she hopes all refugees can have a good life.

I also interviewed Suhyun, an 8th-grade student at Branksome Hall Asia. She said that she first became interested in learning about refugees when she started to research them at school as part of her classwork. She said that she hopes the problem will be resolved quickly because more refugees are still created by many wars happening in the Middle East. 

[Interviewing Suhyun Ha. Photo taken by Hayeon Shin]

Suhyun said that she believes people who misunderstand and discriminate against refugees should improve their awareness as soon as possible, and that refugees are struggling under very difficult circumstances. Like many people who are trying to help refugees by making donations and contributing in other ways, she plans to help in any way she can when she’s older.

Generally, the issues of refugees are often masked by other problems such as virus outbreaks and climate change. Therefore, more people need to spotlight the refugee problem to encourage governments and citizens to provide them with decent living environments and make a better world for refugees around the world. There are many ways to help refugees, but the problem can only be solved when the world, governments and citizens around the world take action together. In addition, if more laws for refugees are passed, calling for more detailed investigations and accepting them before their problems intensify, both refugees and citizens will be able to live together in a better world.



Hayeon Shin
Middle (8th Grade)
Saint Johnsbury Academy Jeju

Hayeon Shin  student_reporter@dherald.com

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