To mark Human Rights Day (10 December), the Refugee Council is today launching a short film which celebrates 60 years of protecting refugees in the UK.
The film, Protecting refugees: 60 years and beyond, features the testimonies and thoughts of refugees who fled conflicts around the world and rebuilt their lives in the UK, in each decade since 1951—the year the charity came together to offer support and advice to refugees. With British actress Zoe Wanamaker narrating, the film features:
- Bob Vertes, who arrived from Hungary in 1956
- Ram Gidoomal, who arrived from Kenya in 1967
- Pablo Aguirre, who arrived from Chile in 1976
- Nyeya Yen, who arrived from Ghana in 1984
- Nora Lupki, who arrived from Kosovo 1991
- Rose Bazzie, who arrived from Liberia in 2004
The film is the culmination of the Refugee Council’s 60th anniversary celebrations in 2011, as well as the 60th year of the UN Convention for Refugees, the international treaty created after World War II to guarantee refugees’ rights to seek asylum in safe countries.
To mark the celebrations, the Refugee Council has asked 10,000 people to sign their ‘Proud to Protect Refugees’ pledge, which calls on the UK government to ensure our asylum system for people fleeing conflict is fair, humane and effective, enabling refugees to find a safe haven and a new home here.
Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council says:
“This film not only highlights the horrifying situations refugees flee from to find a place of safety, but also, the very positive experiences refugees can have in rebuilding their lives here, with access to the right support.
Protecting refugees is a longstanding British tradition, and on Human Rights Day, we urge the UK government to uphold and reaffirm this commitment by ensuring that people fleeing modern day conflicts and persecution can get the protection they need here.”
Ram Gidoomal, who arrived from Kenya in 1967, said:
“Musicians, scientists, successful businesses, economic added value, the arts, culture… All have been enriched as a result of the UN Refugee Convention that has allowed those who face persecution in their countries, or who are escaping attack to find safe havens.
And more than safe havens—countries that give them the opportunity and hope for their future and for rebuilding their lives.”
You can watch the film on the Refugee Council’s Youtube Channel. The film was directed by filmmaker Martin Scanlan and produced by Inside Job Productions.