It’s estimated that around 20 million people of the world are involved in the current refugee crisis. This year, in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics, for the first time, those persons will be represented.
The International Olympic Committee has found 43 athletes who may qualify, including a Syrian swimmer, now residing in Germany, an Iranian taekwondo competitor in Belgium, and a Congolese judo competitor in Brazil, for competition this summer and they will represent all refugees as their own country in this summer’s games.
They will march under the flag of the IOC which as donated roughly $2 million toward projects to aid refugees.
Refugees will also take part in the traditional carrying of the torch from Greece to Rio this year. A refugee, yet to be known, will carry the torch through a refugee camp in Athens.
The UN estimates that 20 million people and counting have been forced from their countries due to growing threats and concerns across the globe. An additional 40 million are estimated to have been displaced within their own countries. In the wake of the Syrian civil war, Syrian refugees recently over took Afghan refugees as the largest refugee group in the globe. As of 2014, the largest single asylum recipient was the Russian Federation.
As the refugee crisis continues to grow, the debate regarding the grating of asylum to refugees in the United States and its allied countries has become a prominent concern among world leaders and the general population.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports