On June 20, World Refugee Day was successfully held worldwide. The global community gathered its hands to ruminate upon the noble meaning of the day. Also in Korea, to celebrate its meaning and spirit, various refugee-related organizations contributed to the celebration of the day.

What Is World Refugee Day?

      On 4 December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001, 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day. In this resolution, the General Assembly noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. African Refugee Day had been formally celebrated in several countries prior to 2000. The UN noted that the Organization of African Unity had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June. And from June 18 to 20 the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, commemorates World Refugee Day in Washington, DC, in order to draw the public's attention to the millions of refugees worldwide who are forced to flee their homes. Each year, UNHCR selects a theme and coordinates events across the globe.
      This year, the UNHCR announced the theme of 2011 World Refugee Day to be “Do 1 Thing.” 

2011 World Refugee Day Campaign Promotion Video

2011 World Refugee Day Campaigns in Korea

Various communities in Korea also participated in the celebration of 2011 World Refugee Day.

UNHCR, Rep. of Korea

Emblem of UNHCR, Rep. of Korea

This year, UNHCR celebrated the World Refugee Day through flash mob campaign. A flash mob is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform an act for a brief time, and then disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment or satire. Dancing with Michael Jackson’s renowned music “Black or White,” civilians and members of refugee-related organizations gathered in the Seoul World Cup Park, Seoul Train Station, Cheonggye Square, Daehak-ro and Korean National Assembly Building. Under the catchphrase “We are the one,” participants united to raise national attention on Refugee-issues.

Video clips for each flash mob performance can be seen through clicking below links.


Emblem of NANCEN

         NANCEN, a non-governmental organization that aims to protect rights of refugees in Korea, successfully held “Photo Voice” exhibition. The photo exhibit displayed pictures of refugees and their letter, which truthfully relfected their lives and thoughts on the status of refugee. The exhibtion was held from June 15 to 22.

          Even though the photo exhibition ended, you can still purchase refugee-photographs collection book from NANCEN.

More details can be found from the following link:

Further information regarding refugee-photographs collection book purchase:


Campaign Logo of UNIQLO Recycle Project

         UNIQLO is a Japanese casual wear designer, manufacturer and retailer. As a part of its Cooperate Social Responsibility, it holds UNIQLO Recycle project throughout this year in the partnership with UNHCR. The project encourages customers to bring old and worn clothes to UNIQLO stores, which will donate collected clothes to refugees or utilize them as resources for regenerated fuels. Those willing to participate in the UNIQLO Recycle project can bring clothes bought from UNIQLO to its stores any time this year.

More details can be found from the following link:

Other than these activities listed above, diverse programs and campaigns were held by individuals and organizations. For those who ere not able to participate in this year’s World Refugee Day campaigns may participate next year’s. Aside from the World Refugee Day activities, you can find detailed information regarding refugees in the following links.

UNHCR, Rep. of Korea: http://www.unhcr.or.kr/
Africa Asia Destitute Relief Foundation: http://www.adrf.or.kr/
UNICEF, Rep. of Korea: http://www.unicef.or.kr
Amnesty International, Rep. of Korea: http://www.amnesty.or.kr/index.htm
National Human Rights Commission of Korea: http://www.humanrights.go.kr/english/index.jsp

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