“On this World Refugee Day, everyone should remember the things that connect all of us –our common humanity.” – United Nation’s High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres
Refugee Week is being celebrated across Australia this week.
Refugee Week, which coincides with the UN’s World Refugee Day on June 20, is an opportunity to celebrate the positive contributions that refugees have made to Australian society, and to reflect on the hardships and violence that have driven millions of people from their homelands.
They are survivors, ordinary people who have been forced into taking extraordinary measures to build a new life for themselves and their families.
One year ago the UN reported that the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide had exceeded 50 million people for the first time since World War II. Multiple global conflicts have meant there has been no reprieve for the rising number of displaced people in 2015.
Through Refugee Week, the Refugee Council of Australia hopes to create a ‘culture of welcome’, educating the community about who refugees are and why they have come to Australia.
The theme this year is: “With courage let us all combine” – a line that is taken from the second verse of our national anthem.
State and local governments and refugee organisations are hosting events to mark Refugee Week – you can check their websites to see what is happening in your community. Also visit Refugee Council of Australia’s website
Ben’s story – to read about one family’s story click here.