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World Refugee Day 2003: Czech Republic

World Refugee Day 2003: Czech Republic

20 June 2003

Multicultural fare at the Concert for Refugees. © UNHCR

A Concert for Refugees was held at Prague Rock Café, with performances by refugees and asylum seekers from Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Congo, Iraq, Pakistan and Syria. The audience of 200 was treated to samples of multi-ethnic refugee cuisine, as well as the sale of refugee-made handicraft.

UNHCR was also present at Roxy Planet, an open-air music festival that drew a crowd of 20,000. The refugee agency and several NGOs set up a tent at the venue for roundtable discussions, film screenings and a photo exhibition.

Sampling "refugee cuisne" at the Roxy Planet open-air music festival.

The American Cool Blues Band performed at Blues for Refugees, a concert to bring together people interested in refugee issues.

A ceremony took place at the Czech Chamber of Deputies to mark World Refugee Day and to recognise outstanding refugee students, who were awarded with toys, sports equipment and school stationery.

Outstanding refugee students receiving their awards at the Chamber of Deputies.

A public hearing in the Czech Parliament was organised in which government officials, NGO representatives and members of the media gave presentations on refugee-related issues.

A seminar was held for young lawyers working in the area of refugee and asylum law. A conference for teachers also chose to focus on refugees issues like Czech asylum procedures, education for foreign children, and refugee integration.

On June 17 and June 25, UNHCR partner, the Organisation for Aid to Refugees, organised an open house in Sec and Stráz refugee facilities.

Photo exhibitions of refugees were held in various Czech cities like Cheb, Chrudim and Karlovy Vary, as well as at the Female Avant-Garde Festival in Prague. In another public awareness campaign, postcards with the slogan, "Most people travel for fun, refugees travel from fear", were distributed with flight tickets issued by GTS International, one of the largest Czech travel agencies that focuses on budget travels for youth.