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World Refugee Day 2002: Italy

World Refugee Day 2002: Italy

20 June 2002

UNHCR staff register refugees at the Douma registration center on the outskirts of Damascus. Registering with UNHCR ensures that the most vulnerable refugees receive aid.

UNHCR organised a conference at Palazzo Rospigliosi, a beautiful Renaissance building in Rome. Speeches were made by the Foreign Affairs Under-Secretary of State, Mr. Alfredo Mantica, the Foreign Affairs Under-Secretary of State, Mrs. Margherita Boniver, the President of Equal Opportunities Committee to the Presidence of the Council of Ministers, Mrs. Marina Piazza, and the former Minister for Equal Opportunities and current university lecturer, Mrs. Laura Balbo.

Several issues were addressed during the conference: the situation of refugee women and measures to improve their conditions, developments in some major refugee crises where Italy is particularly involved, the latest refugee statistics, the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in Italy and the new legislation on immigration especially in view of the Sevilla Summit.

The conference was attended by some 150 people, including major Italian authorities and representatives from the political world, trade unions, universities, diplomatic community, NGOs and press. Some refugee women also attended the conference and gave interviews to the media.

Apart from UNHCR, other organisations, such as Jesuit Refugee Service, National Programme for Asylum, Italian Council for Refugees, Equal Opportunities Committee to the Presidence of the Council of Ministers, provided their publications, while copies of the book about refugees by Paola Boncompagni were distributed.

During the month of June, Jesuit Refugee Service held a series of meetings in Rome and in other cities, dedicated to World Refugee Day and to related issues such as human rights. An event organised by Caritas was held in the main Bologna square.

On the occasion of the Scout Association National Council, attended by all regional representatives, UNHCR provided leaflets and copies of the Refugees Magazine.

Italian Consortium of Solidarity, Médecins Sans Frontières in co-operation with Amnesty International organised initiatives including conferences, concerts, photo exhibitions, movie festivals, meetings with refugees in several cities as part of the campaign "Diritto d'asilo - Una questione di civilità."