Global celebrities record films highlighting our common links with people forced to flee.
Global The UN refugee agency UNHCR will launch its annual World Refugee Day Campaign on Tuesday with the release of several films featuring celebrity supporters that tell the human side of the refugee plight. This years’ campaign aims to bring the public closer to the story, showing refugees as ordinary people living in extraordinary circumstances.
The films feature UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and best-selling author, Khaled Hosseini, photographer and supermodel Helena Christensen, singer/songwriter Maher Zain and actor Jung Woo-Sung . The films were recorded during recent field visits. Each supporter introduces an individual refugee and their story. These films and other refugee stories can be found on UNHCR’s Campaign website: www.refugeeday.org.
Remarking on her experience in Colombia, Helena Christensen said,
“Getting to know these remarkable families made me realize that, even though they had to leave everything behind when they were forced to flee their homes, they still share so many of the same hope and dreams that we all do. They haven’t lost their identity, their skills or their passions. They just long to resume a normal life.”
In addition to these new films from the field, author Neil Gaiman, actor David Morrissey and actress Emma Thompson will share personal stories of refugees they have met or are in their own families. On World Refugee Day, 20 June, other UNHCR supporters including actor, model and refugee, Ger Duany, and actresses Kristin Davis and Kat Graham, will be spending time with refugees and displaced families.
This high profile support is part of a worldwide public outreach campaign for World Refugee Day 2015. UNHCR offices in some 120 countries are planning various events including the film premiere of Salam Neighbor in Washington D.C.
UNHCR will mark World Refugee Day 2015 against a backdrop of multiple conflicts, growing numbers of forcibly displaced people and a rising tide of intolerance and xenophobia in many parts of the world.
As UNHCR prepares to launch its campaign, High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said:
“All around the world we are seeing families fleeing violence. The numbers are massive – but we must not forget that these are mothers and fathers, daughters and sons. People who led ordinary lives before war forced them to flee. On this World Refugee Day, everyone should remember the things that connect all of us – our common humanity.”
About World Refugee Day, June 20 2015
On World Refugee Day, June 20, UNHCR commemorates the strength and resilience of the more than 50 million people around the world forced to flee their homes due to war or human rights abuses.
Ordinary people living through extraordinary times: In 2015 our World Refugee Day Campaign aims to bring the public closer to the human side of the refugee story by sharing stories of hope and resilience from displaced people. These stories will highlight the common links between we all share with refugees, returnees, IDPs and resettled refugees.
The UNHCR Campaign microsite www.refugeeday.org features stories from refugees who describe in their own words their own passions and interests; cooking, music, poetry, or sports. Through their testimonials we aim to show that these are ordinary people living through extraordinary times. We are asking our audiences to share the stories with their friends and family.