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UN to host movie, talk to kick off Refugee Day

June 15,2018
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) Korea office will kick off the agency’s global World Refugee Day campaign by hosting a talk at the Jeju Forum and a Refugees Movie Night in central Seoul in the last week of June.

“Announcing the week of 25 June as #WithRefugees week, UNHCR Korea will join and host various events, including the 2018 Jeju Forum, the Refugees Movie Night and a Facebook live with refugees in Korea,” the UNHCR Korea office said in a statement on Thursday.

The UNHCR’s #WithRefugees campaign began in 2016, and has been launched every year around June 20, World Refugee Day. The campaign hosts events to raise local awareness of refugees and sends a petition to whom the agency calls “decision makers” to take action to support refugees, stateless people and internally displaced people with education, housing and training.

There are 65.6 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, according to the UNHCR. Of them, 22.5 million are refugees and 10 million are stateless people. Stateless people are those “who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement,” according to the agency.

South Korea has accepted applications for refugee status since 1994, and a total of 30,082 people have applied for refugee status as of October 2017, according to the Ministry of Justice. Of the 18,449 people who have been processed, 767 gained refugee status and an additional 1,446 people were granted permission to stay in Korea. Recently, Jeju Island has experienced a surge in refugees fleeing the war in Yemen.

“On 26 June, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Jung Woo-sung will join the 2018 Jeju Forum as a speaker for the special session ‘The Global Refugee Crisis: What We Need to Know,’ and talk about the global refugee crisis through the stories of refugees he met in different countries including Iraq and Bangladesh,” the office said.

The office will host the Refugee Movie Night on June 28 at 5 p.m. at the Lotte Cinema in Myeong-dong, central Seoul. It will screen three short films and host a talk with Nikola Ivanovski and others.

The short films include “The Unforgotten,” a documentary produced by UNHCR Korea about a 10-year-old Iraqi girl with a hearing disability and two other displaced people with disabilities.

BY ESTHER CHUNG [chung.juhee@joongang.co.kr]