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World Refugee Day

Every minute, eight people are forced to flee war, persecution or terror. Misplaced persons are often mistaken unfairly for economic migrants, however unlike migrants; refugees flee their country - not for economic gain - but to escape maltreatment, the threat of imprisonment or to save their very lives. Refugees need a safe place to receive support and aid, in order to recover from mental and physical trauma, and work toward rebuilding their hopes for a better future. However, the intolerance that is often at the root of internal displacement and refugee flows, is also present in many of the countries that refugees escape to. Instead of finding empathy and understanding, they are often met with mistrust or contempt.

World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year, and was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. This year’s theme is “Refugees have no choice. You do.” Its goal is to encourage compassion, concern and generosity by reminding people that some day in the future any one of us could be knocking on a stranger's door in search of a safe and friendly shelter.

World Refugee Day also aims to acknowledge the richness and diversity that refugees bring to our societies. While most refugees want to go home, many cannot safely return. Wherever they are placed, refugees always strive to pick up the pieces and start over. The courage and determination demonstrated during their darkest hours provide them with the capacity to rebuild a new life. This year the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, will commence World Refugee Day by launching a striking new campaign, "Dilemmas," which is a development of the award-winning "1" campaign launched last year. "Dilemmas" depicts some of the tough choices refugees are faced with, in order bring about awareness and understand within our societies, of the difficulties that burden misplaced persons.

"We must work together to mobilize the political will and leadership to prevent and end the conflicts that trigger refugee flows. [...] Despite budget constraints everywhere, we must not turn away from those in need. Refugees leave because they have no choice. We must choose to help.“ stated Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.



World Refugee Day

No one chooses to be a refugee - message by Angelina Jolie

World Refugee Day - When you Don't Exist

When You Don't Exist - Amnesty International Campaign

World Refugee Day - Strangers no More

"Strangers no More", by Karen Goodman and Kirk Simon - Trailer

World Refugee Day - The Boy Mir

"The Boy Mir", by Phil Grabsky - Trailer