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UN refugee agency launches campaign about refugee dilemmas
Thursday 14, June 2012
BUDAPEST, June 14 (UNHCR) - The UN refugee agency has launched an online campaign in Central Europe to raise public awareness about the life-and-death decisions refugees face.
The interactive campaign, launched in the lead up to World Refugee Day on June 20, asks the members of public to contemplate what they would do if faced with the same situations confronting refugees.
“Stay and risk death or torture? Chance everything at the hands of human smugglers?” the campaign asks, against an image of a mother and her children huddling in the dark.
“Too often, refugees are lumped together with illegal migrants in public discourse. We forget that refugees are survivors of incredibly dangerous situations and have no choice but to flee their homes,” said Gottfried Koefner, UNHCR’s Regional Representative for Central Europe.
“In this campaign, we are asking people to step into the shoes of refugees and ask themselves what they would do faced with these terrible dilemmas.”
The dilemmas campaign will run on websites and social media platforms over the coming months. A Public Service Announcement, presented by UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, with the message No one chooses to be a refugee will run on TV stations throughout the region, and the world, from today to mark World Refugee Day.
Visitors to the campaign website – unhcr-centraleurope.org/takeaction – can meet survivors in video stories, take a quiz about what they would do in refugee situations, or download a new app for smart phones, My life as a refugee. More personal stories from refugees living in Central Europe will be added to the campaign page over the coming days and weeks.
People can also find out how they can volunteer to help refugees who have found a safety in Central Europe -- such as helping people to learn the language, find a flat, or navigate their way in a new country and culture.
Some 30,700 refugees have been given protection in Central Europe in the last two decades since the former communist countries signed up to the 1951 Refugee Convention. A further 6,500 asylum-claims were still being assessed at the end of 2011, according to government figures.
“While refugees have survived a lot to get here, they also face a whole raft of new challenges finding their way in a new country. We hope the people who see our campaign, will be inspired to take action to welcome refugees to Central Europe and help them settle in,” said Koefner adding that 80 per cent of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries with only a small percentage coming to Europe.
Visit the campaign website at unhcr-centraleurope.org/takeaction
For further information contact Ariane Rummery at +36 30 530 9633 or email@example.com.
For more information on the protection of refugees in Central Europe and this year’s World Refugee Day, visit: www.unhcr-centraleurope.org