COMING SOON: ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION ON THE COMMEMORATION OF INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS IN RIVERS

BRIEF HISTORY OF WORLD REFUGEE DAY

 

For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own events similar to world refugee day. It is one of the most widespread events in Africa, which is celebrated on June 20 in many countries. The UN general Assembly adopted a resolution to express its solidarity with Africa on December 4, 2000. The resolution noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 convention relating to the status of refugees, and that the organization of African unity (OAU) agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on June 20. The assembly therefore decided that June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards. The day was designated by the UN high commissioner for Refugees to bring attention to the plight of approximately 14 million Refugees around the world at the time.

 

THE INTERNATIONAL COMMEMORATION OF REFUGEE DAY

Each year on June 20th the United Nations, UN Refugee agency (UNHCR) and countless civic groups around the world celebrate World Refugee Day in order to draw the public ‘attention to the millions of Refugee and Internally Displaced Persons Worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes because of wars, conflicts, persecution and natural disasters

The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in more than 100 countries involving Government officials, humanitarian aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves. This event honours the courage, strength, and determination of women, men, and children. It is a day to recognize the contribution of Refugees to the society

INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS; A FUTURE THREAT IN RIVERS STATE

The effect of internal displacement on IDPs themselves, as well as on the local authorities and communities that host them, can be devastating. While the act of displacement itself often violate the human rights of those affected, the subsequent loss of access to homes, lands, livelihoods, personal documentation, family members, and social networks can negatively affect the ability of IDPs to assert and enjoy an entire range of fundamental rights. Most obvious, IDPs immediately become dependent on others for basic needs such as shelter, food and water. At the same time, their vulnerability may be increased by barriers to accessing health care, education, employment, economic activities, and electoral politics in their areas of displacement.

 

WPSN COMMEMORATIVE EVENT

As the theme states, with courage let us all combine to take action to end the plights of refugees, the WPSN wishes to carry out a Round Table Discussion on the issues of IDPs and mobilizing to mitigate the causes of the emergence of IDPs in Rivers State. This event will focus on identifying the drivers of conflict that can lead to displacement and ways to prevent these drivers. WPSN will also use this platform to engage with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) on the management of emergency issues like displacement of women due to disasters like flooding and as a result of conflict.

A review of the IDP camps in 2012 will also be done to identify gaps and establish learning points, identify the state’s level of preparedness for emergencies that can lead to the displacement of persons in Rivers State

Goal

The International Refugees Day seeks to raise public awareness about refugees/IDPs situations and to promote the establishment of mechanisms put in place to reduce the various challenges they face throughout the world and in Rivers State in particular.

Objectives

  1. To create a platform for discussion to mitigate the causes of the emergence of IDPs in Rivers state and popularise National IDP policy
  2. To review past conditions of IDPs and IDP camps to strengthen the capacity of relevant stakeholders to be more effective and efficient in the general response and establishment of IDP camps
  3. To highlight the gender dimensions of the emergence of IDPs as well as the care for IDPs
  4. To create public awareness campaign messages on salient issues that can reduce the likelihood of the emergence of IDPs in Rivers State

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