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World Refugee Day 2002: Bulgaria

World Refugee Day 2002: Bulgaria

20 June 2002

Sixteen-year old Farihalh hardly misses school despite her numerous daily chores. Farihalh wants to become "Minister of Darfur", the region she and her family escaped in 2004.

On 7 June, Deputy Prime Minister and Labour and Social Policies Minister, Lidia Shouleva, and the UNHCR representative signed a letter with an Action Plan to be implemented by UNHCR, the Agency for Refugees with the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies.

The signing of the document preceded a panel discussion "Refugees: A Positive Contribution to Growth and Development" organised by the Atlantic Club, the Agency for Refugees and UNHCR, under the auspices of Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha.

The purpose of the document is to promote co-operation on the respect of the basic human rights of asylum seekers and refugees in Bulgaria.

A gala concert by National Symphony Orchestra was held at Bulgaria Hall on 7 June. The event was covered by Dni TV. The exhibition of UNHCR photos of refugee women was also held at the same venue.

On 17 June, Refugee Food Day was organised by the Bulgarian Red Cross. Food prepared by refugees was sold and served to diplomats, politicians, NGO and UNHCR staff.

On 20 June, Bulgarian National Television and Nova TV reported on the opening of an exhibition of paintings and drawings by a young Afghan asylum seeker, and of crafts made by refugee children at the Integration Centre of Agency for Refugees (AR) with the Council of Ministers ("Karim" Gallery.) The event was attended by members of parliament, fine arts critics, refugees, general public, media, AR, NGOs, and UNHCR. Proceeds from the sale of pictures were shared between the refugee artist and the Integration Centre to buy new painting materials.