June 20 is World Refugee Day, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.
African Refugee Day had been formally celebrated in several countries prior to 2000. The UN noted that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on June 20.
On December 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001, June 20 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.
A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely. Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) if they formally make a claim for asylum.
In commemoration of the day, we bring you the stories of refugees in Japan.
*Click the photo below and read their stories!
“Holding up a placard which told our call, I marched on the street. The bottom of my face was hidden by a placard so I was not recognized by the government. But a man walking next to me was killed. Government officials were taking pictures of us secretly in order to check who were joining the march.” – N.Y, Refugee