LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More than 175 world renowned artists including Sting, Robert Plant and Elvis Costello, have joined forces to back a song that supports greater action to address the global refugee crisis, campaign organizers said on Monday.
The royalties from “We Are Not Afraid” will be divided between the International Rescue Committee – which supports refugees and internally displaced people in more than 40 countries - and the non-profit group Human Rights Watch.
The announcement comes as world leaders meet in New York to discuss the refugee crisis, calling on countries with the ability to resettle refugees to do so and others to provide funding to countries hosting larger numbers of refugees.
“We applaud the efforts of the hundreds of public figures who have invested their time and talent to provide critical aid to help refugees and raise awareness about their plight,” said David Miliband, CEO of the IRC, in a statement.
“When too many politicians are trading in fear it is heartening to see people of renown and credibility standing up for hope.”
The song’s composer is Nigerian reggae artist Majek Fashek.
Others artists featured in the campaign include Yoko Ono, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, actress Susan Sarandon, and anti-Kremlin Russian punk band Pussy Riot who performed in the Calais Jungle migrant camp at the end of last year.
The song’s accompanying music video will feature celebrities holding signs reading “not afraid”. It was directed by Kevin Godley, who has made videos for U2 and Eric Clapton, and will be published to YouTube on Sept. 29.
“There is no excuse for violence, together we need to stand up and challenge those who prey on our fears,” said Albert Hammond Jr. of U.S. rock band The Strokes.
According to UNHCR data, at least 65 million people are currently displaced around the world.
Almost 300,000 migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea this year, while more than 3,200 are missing or have drowned.
Last Friday, UNHCR announced South Sudan had become the fourth country in the world to produce more than a million refugees after Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia.