World Refugee Day Is Marked in Belarus
In 2020, the UN General Assembly announced 20 June to be marked annually as World Refugee Day. To draw the attention to the refugee problem and statelessness in Belarus, prominent Belarusians recorded a video address calling on all people to support those who were forced to flee their homes and search for a new home. The initiative was supported by the UNHCR office in Belarus which marks 25 years of operating in the country in 2020.
“It is not easy to comprehend, but every 3 seconds 1 person in the world has to flee their home running from wars and conflicts, violence and prosecution. And more than half of all refugees are children. In a new country – without a job, without friends or support these people start a new life from scratch. Today, during the spread of coronavirus they are especially vulnerable. And our main task is to support them to help them find a new home. Not to be indifferent, but to get involved. Everyone can make a difference – every action counts”.
“There are around 9,500 refugees, asylym-seekers and stateless people living in Belarus as of May 2020. Last year 654 people applied for protection in the country, and 234 people did so only in the first 5 months of 2020 already. UNHCR continues to monitor the situation with access to territory and state status determination procedure so that everyone can realize their right to seek asylym” – says Jean-Yves Bouchardy, UNHCR Representative in Belarus.
The video message brought together representatives of all UN agencies in the country, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and Celebrity Supporter, singers, writers, designers and other prominent Belarusians.