20 June 2012

Africa: World Marks Refugee Day

Luanda — World Refugee Day, observed June 20 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

On 4 December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001, 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day.

In this resolution, the General Assembly noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

African Refugee Day had been formally celebrated in several countries prior to 2000 and the UN noted that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.

For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own Refugee Days and even Weeks. One of the most widespread is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on 20 June in several countries.

This year the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, will start marking World Refugee Day by rolling out 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 facing refugees, helping the public to empathize with, and understand, their dilemma.

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