Timor-Leste: Sixth anniversary of the United Nations designated World Refugee Day

News and Press Release
Originally published
Every year on 20 June, the world pays tribute to the strength and courage of the millions of refugees scattered across the globe. Often classified unjustly as illegal migrants, refugees flee their countries of origin not by choice, or for economic gain, but to escape persecution and violence, which may even threaten their lives. The people of Timor-Leste understand this all too well as, through the difficult years leading to independence, thousands of Timorese sought and were granted asylum and protection in many countries around the world.

World Refugee Day also provides the occasion to raise awareness about the plight of the more than 20 million people who are now displaced within their own countries and who are in urgent need of shelter, food, water, and protection of their basic rights. In Timor-Leste, many thousands of women, men, girls and boys remain displaced and are living in poor conditions in makeshift camps and with host families around the country. On World Refugee Day this year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) would like to pay special tribute to the resilience, patience and dignity shown by the displaced in Timor-Leste, and to remind us all that finding lasting solutions to their plight must remain an urgent priority. In addition to a clear political commitment from the Government of Timor-Leste to restore the full rights of the displaced, and an equal commitment from international partners to support the government in these efforts, resolving the IDP crisis here will require that all citizens once again demonstrate the noble qualities of unity and forgiveness which have in the past seen the nation of Timor-Leste emerge strong through times of trouble.

For more information please Alberto Carlos on +670 7230930