President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has by Proclamation declared today, Tuesday, June 20, as “World Refugee Day,” to be observed throughout the country as a working holiday.
World Refugee Day is commemorated to acknowledge the difficulties faced by refugees forced to cross international borders as well as those who remain within their countries as internally displaced persons (IDPs).
The United Nations General Assembly adopted Regulation 55/76, declaring June 20 of each year as World Refugee Day to be celebrated by the member states in recognition of the courage and resilience of more than 50 million persons around the world who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflicts or human rights abuses.
According to a Foreign Affairs Ministry release, the official ceremony of World Refugee Day 2017 in Liberia will be held at the PTP Refugee Camp in Grand Gedeh County under the theme: “We Stand Together with Refugees.”
The proclamation called on all citizens and foreign residents, national and international youth organizations as well as government agencies concerned to join the Liberia Refugees Repatriation Resettlement Commission (LRRRC) and execute appropriate programs befitting the observance of the day.
With the variety of programs, more than 100 countries will hold events with the collaboration of governments, humanitarian aid workers, celebrities, civilians as well as the IDPs and refugees themselves, the release stated.
World Refugee Day serves as a platform to raise awareness and promote solidarity with refugees through social media and radio programs that will enable UNHCR to disseminate information on the different durable solutions, notably voluntary repatriation, and local integration.
As a founding member of the United Nations, the Government of Liberia reaffirms its commitment to protecting internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, the release affirmed.