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World Refugee Day 2003: Refugee Youth: Building the Future

World Refugee Day 2003: Refugee Youth: Building the Future

9 April 2003


"The days of our youth are the days of our glory". So wrote the poet Byron. But tragically, for 20 million young people around the world, the days of their youth, far from being days of glory, are often filled with hopeless misery, unspeakable cruelty and heartless exploitation. Among them are the world's refugee youth - youngsters whose only crime was to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, and who now find themselves the displaced victims of other people's wars and conflicts.

It is the special plight of these innocents that we wish to spotlight, by dedicating World Refugee Day 2003 to Refugee Youth, and thereby open the eyes of a worldwide audience to their needs. But not only their needs. We wish to accentuate the positive by celebrating their many strengths, their huge potential, and their capacity to help themselves and their communities. Our aim is to provide refugee youth with a heightened sense of value and self-worth; to help them gather their strength and courage, spread their wings ... and fly!