Stand with those who need your solidarity now

Zahra* and her baby brother, Iraq


 It’s our worst nightmare – having to flee for our lives because of war, persecution or disaster. When it is dangerous to go but deadly to stay, people are faced with impossible choices. Across the world, families are forced to leave everything behind and embark on perilous journeys to reach safety and dignity.


Right now, the number of refugees and displaced people in the world exceeds 65.6 million – the largest number ever recorded and these people need solutions. They are just like us and want the same things; safety, a warm home and to see their children grow up and contribute to society in peace.


The failure of our governments to help people on the move has resulted in refugees and migrants taking longer and more dangerous routes to safety, and increased the hardship and risk they face along the way.

Nimo* in a refugee camp in Greece
One of Zeinach’s four children Nimo* (8) pictured in a refugee camp in Greece as the family waits to be reunited with their father. Photo: Aubrey Wade/Oxfam

Zeinach* (36) fled Syria with her four young children after their house was destroyed. She remembers clearly the day they left home – jets were firing overhead and that had been going on for 20 days.


Zeinach’s husband had travelled ahead to find a safe place for his family and managed to reach Germany. But now the rest of the family are in Greece, separated from a husband and father, living in a refugee camp.

Zeinach says: “I want us to be able to join my husband, to be safe. But then for us all to return back home to Syria and help rebuild the country. I miss my husband and the children miss their father.”


We can do more for families like Zeinach’s. People have the right to safety and dignity. Governments must ensure that those fleeing the horrors of war, persecution and disaster can escape safely and legally, rather than being forced into the hands of smugglers or into unsafe boats.


We all deserve to live in safety. And we all have the right to refuge when our safety and dignity is threatened.

The Right to Refuge

In 2016, an incredible 32,000 people from across the island of Ireland joined Oxfam’s Right to Refuge campaign and signed the petition calling on the Irish and UK governments to do more to protect refugees and migrants. With your support, Oxfam was able to put pressure on governments ahead of the first UN summit on refugees and migration in 2016- where world leaders agreed on a new global response to the migration crisis. 

While having our voices heard was a great achievement, we must now continue our fight for a better deal for refugees in Ireland and the UK. 


Oxfam is working hard to make sure that governments across the globe uphold the safety, dignity and protection of people forced to flee, and provide solutions for families like Zeinach’s. However, in order to make a real impact – we need your help.


Join our campaign and demand that our leaders defend the right to refuge and find solutions for millions of people forced to flee for their lives.


Oxfam in Greece: refugee children's paintings
Oxfam are providing child friendly spaces for children seeking refuge in Greece Photo: Oxfam

Oxfam’s work with refugees and migrants

At a time when refugees are in urgent need of support, Oxfam is taking action.


We are on the ground in nine of the ten primary countries of origin for refugees worldwide, including Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in neighbouring countries which host the majority of refugees like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. We are also along supporting people displaced within their own countries, like the Central African Republic.


Right now, Oxfam is providing life-saving emergency support for millions of people. This includes clean water, sanitation, relief items like blankets and stoves and vital supplies for families who have lost everything. We are also helping families get the information they need about their legal and human rights and connecting them to support services, including psychological support.


While we do this, Oxfam also campaigns to change the rules which result in people having no other option than to run for their lives. In the meantime, we’re working to protect people on the move whose health, welfare and rights are at risk.