Modern day warfare is increasingly fought in ways that harm civilians. These conflicts force ordinary people from their homes, desperately seeking asylum. Their search for a safe place to re-build their lives, away from violence and intimidation, is often dangerous and complicated. Further to this, in the place that they are trying to seek asylum, they may face further racial discrimination and similar problems caused by lack of acceptance.
There are various reasons why people become refugees. Whether it be as a result of war, persecution for their political or religious beliefs, ethnicity, nationality, or natural disasters, all people have the right to be protected.
Refugee Week is Australia’s peak annual activity to inform the public about refugees, and create a better understanding between different communities, encouraging successful integration, and enabling refugees to contribute to Australia while living in safety.
Refugee Week 2011 will be celebrated from Sunday June 19 to Saturday June 25 to coincide with World Refugee Day (June 20).
What you can do:
- Download and print the Refugee Week poster designed by Shaun Tan
- Watch the upcoming documentary Go Back To Where you Came From (screening on SBS June 21-23) trailer video here.
- Join the new initiative Welcome to Australia and hold a party to give refugees a warm, positive welcome
- Attend a Refugee Week event near you
Ben Campbell is a volunteer with Oxfam Australia