Founded in 1986, Refugee Week is held in June each year and coincides with World Refugee Day on June 20. The event raises awareness about the issues affecting people who have been forced to flee their homes. Millions of refugees around the world hope to find freedom from persecution and to obtain safety and security for themselves and their families. As at 31 December 2012, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that there were 28.8 million internally displaced persons, 15.4 million refugees and 937,000 asylum seekers.
ACU’s work with refugees
The theme of Refugee Week is ‘Restoring Hope’ and reflects the hopes of refugees to be given a chance to start a new life, and to recover from past trauma. ACU’s mission identifies a commitment to the dignity of the human person and the common good - and the University seeks to support refugees through a number of programs including the Thai-Burma Program and Homework Support Programs.
Refugee Week also highlights the situation of refugees whose hopes have not been fulfilled. Many people remain in seriously protracted situations, facing ongoing discrimination, violence and uncertainty, with little hope for a resolution in the near future.
This week is an opportunity for all Australians to consider actions and support that could help to improve the quality of life for refugees and restore hope for a better future. It is also a time to recognise and celebrate the positive contributions of refugees within communities.
How can you get involved:
Discuss the issues affecting refugees with your family and friends and the positive actions you can take to restore hope for refugees.
Attend and support events in your local area during Refugee Week – visit the Refugee Week website for more information.
Celebrate the rich diversity of refugee communities through music, dance, food and cultural events.