World Refugee Day

 

 

The 20th June since 2000 has been World Refugee Day (resolution 55/76), which is about giving a wider audience a better understanding of what it means to be a refugee. The year 2013 is the 62nd  anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention, the international treaty which guarantees refugees' rights. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established in 1950 by the United Nations  General Assembly. The agency's mandate is to lead and  coordinate international action to protect refugees and  resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and wellbeing of refugees.

The right to seek asylum was first codified in law by King Ethelbert of Kent in about 600 AD and since then the courage and resilience shown by refugees, who overcome tremendous difficulties in order to participate in the community they live in, have been documented over and over. Today, more than 140 countries have signed the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, under which they must provide UNHCR with information concerning the number and condition of refugees. The Refugee Convention has saved millions of lives. We at the RTC are inviting you to join us to celebrate those lives and to remember the great British tradition of protecting refugees - and together we should call for refugees to be treated with dignity and respect. 
We in London have refugee week from 17th  - 23rd June. We are proud to live in the city that celebrates refugees' contribution to the society for a whole week. The Refugee Week coincides with the World Refugee Day on the 20 June, so as to build on the momentum created by international recognition of refugees.The purpose of the Refugee Week is to deliver positive educational messages that counter fear, ignorance and negative stereotypes of refugees and to promote greater understanding between communities - and indeed, to bring an understanding about why people seek sanctuary.

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