Department of Home Affairs and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency commemorate World Refugee Day on 18 and 20 June in eThekwini Municipality

World Refugee Day is marked each year on 20 June to honour the courage and resilience of families forced to flee war, violence or persecution. This year the Department of Home Affairs and UNHCR will commemorate World Refugee Day in eThekwini Municipality to promote social cohesion, tolerance and peaceful co-existence among refugees, asylum-seekers and host communities.

World Refugee Day celebrations kick-off with build-up events on Sunday 18 June at Inanda J.L. Dube Stadium with Fun Run/Walk as well as friendly football matches involving refugees, asylum-seekers and the local community.

On Tuesday 20 June at Play House Company, the Department of Home Affairs and UNHCR will organise structured community dialogues between refugees and the host community aiming at increasing knowledge on the rights and responsibilities of refugees, promote better understanding, social tolerance and mutual trust as well as respect for cultural diversity. Community discussions are followed by cultural entertainment as well as World Refugee Day remarks by refugees, provincial authorities, UNHCR and the Department of Home Affairs.

South Africa is hosting 91,043 refugees and 218,299 asylum-seekers mainly from Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Burundi and Zimbabwe (as of 31 December 2016).

Members of the media are invited to participate in World Refugee Day celebrations on:

Sunday 18 June at Dr Inanda J.L. Dube Stadium from 08h00 onwards

Tuesday 20 June at Play House Company from 10h00 onwards

Source:United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).