Committee Motion - Further information on Refugee Week 2014
16th -22nd June 2014
In December 2000, the UN resolved to celebrate World Refugee Day on 20th June 2001 to mark the 50th anniversary of the Refugee Convention. The vast majority of the world’s countries, including the UK and Ireland, are signatories to this Convention.
From then on, the UK celebrates Refugee Week annually to coincide with World Refugee Day. In essence, this week is a celebration of the contribution of refugees to the UK through a variety of events and activities. Refugee Week is also an opportunity to promote better understanding of why people seek sanctuary.
In Northern Ireland, the Refugee Week programme is usually a collaborative effort between NGOs with the Northern Ireland Community of Refugees and Asylum (NICRAS) taking the coordinating lead. To date, activities have included: refugee awareness workshops in primary schools, family sport days, campaigning workshops, legal debates, art exhibitions, talent shows, ‘world cup’ football tournaments, quiz nights, carnival drumming sessions, etc. The events attract a diverse crowd – the more the merrier! Refugee Week is usually kicked off with a launch event. OFMDFM Junior Ministers and other MLAs have been involved in previous years and indeed have hosted events in the Long Gallery.
Each year has a different theme. This year, the Northern Ireland focus will be on the contribution of children and young people.
Any support that the Committee could lend to Refugee Week would be most welcome.