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World Refugee Day

By Mariam Chanishvili
Friday, June 22
World Refugee Day is marked on June 20.

This day is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

The UN Refugee Agency of Georgia held various events in order to celebrate the World Refugee Day. Entertainment events took place at Martkopi Reception Center for Asylum-Seekers.

Georgia’s Public Defender Nino Lomjaria expressed hope that international protection of refugees and asylum seekers will be ensured and long-term solutions to their problems will be facilitated in Georgia.

“Protection of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers is one of the priorities of the Public Defender's Office. A separate chapter is dedicated to the rights of asylum seekers and internationally protected persons in the annual report of the Public Defender on the situation of human rights and freedoms in Georgia. The document focuses both on positive and negative trends identified as a result of monitoring the rights of above mentioned persons by the Public Defender,” reads the statement by the Public Defender.

The number of asylum seekers in Georgia has grown in the last few years. This figure was at the highest in 2014-2015. Currently, about 1500 persons have refugee and humanitarian status in Georgia. Most of them are citizens of Russia, Iraq, Ukraine and Syria.

At present there are about 280,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) in Georgia; about six percent of the country’s total population.

“World Refugee Day is a time for solidarity with refugees – and with the communities that welcome them. Taking care of refugees must be shared as a global responsibility. Refugees themselves need to be integrated into new communities, and given the chance to realize their potential,” reads the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

Every June 20, the United Nations, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and countless civic groups around the world host World Refugee Day events in order to draw the public's attention to refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide.