Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef appeared in a video released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday seeking increased support for refugees.
The video shows more than 60 influential figures from around the world asking people to sign a petition calling on governments to take several steps to help the forcibly displaced. The participants deliver the same message: “We stand together with refugees. Please stand with us.”
Youssef expressed pride at his participation in the campaign, stressing that it is instrumental in helping the forcibly displaced. He highlighted the scale of the current refugee crisis, with huge numbers of people travelling from the Arab world in search of both survival and a new start in life.
“[These people] have the right to be given a chance and to be treated with justice and equality, which everyone needs,” he said.
“Decision-makers around the world need to be making serious choices regarding this crisis, finding solutions that guarantee a decent life to these people forced to leave their houses and homelands to survive."
The campaign aims to show the popular support for families forced to flee their homes. Many of them make long journeys by land and sea, illegally crossing borders amid waves of oppression and anti-refugee discourse, as well as mounting restrictions on the right to asylum.
The petition demands the following guarantees for refugees: every refugee child gets an education; every refugee family has somewhere safe to live; and every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.
The petition will be submitted ahead of the plenary meeting of the UN General Assembly to tackle the mass movement of immigrants and refugees across the globe.
Among the celebrities who took part in the campaign were the Nobel Laureate Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Novelist Khaled Hosseini, actors Scarlett Johansson, Bryan Adams, Ben Stiller, Cate Blanchett and others.
The video can be viewed and the petition signed by clicking here.
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