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World Refugee Day 2002: Russian Federation

World Refugee Day 2002: Russian Federation

20 June 2002

Large numbers of people from the Balkans sought asylum in European countries in the late 1990s. This young boy awaits processing by a Swiss soldier.

During the Einstein poster campaign (Einstein was a refugee) in May and June, six mobile billboards were placed in different areas in Moscow, where refugees and asylum-seekers reside.

From 3 to 5 June, a film festival on refugees' rights took place in Belgorod, which hosted a great number of persons of concern to UNHCR. Over 7,000 people had a chance to watch these films. Within the event, a round table discussion was held with the participation of the local authorities, NGOs, media, film-producers, and the general public. A special show of children's movies was organised for refugee/ internally displaced children and local orphans. Information materials were distributed before each film show at three cinema theatres.

On 18 June, UNHCR participated in a conference dedicated to World Refugee Day, which was convened by UNHCR's partner organisations in St. Petersburg. The Vice-Governor of St. Petersburg, Vladimir Debrin, was one of over 50 participants.

Also on 18 June, in cooperation with the Office of the Ombudsman in the Russian Federation, UNHCR held a hotline to provide refugees and other persons of concern to UNHCR with legal advice.

On 20 June, over 600 people enjoyed a concert at the Moscow Scientists Club. Apart from refugees, officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Federal Migration Service, the Moscow Government, NGOs, and UN agencies also participated. Popular Russian artists such as Tatyana Yerastova, Eugene Polikanin, and Mikail Rozkov performed, as well as refugee women.