World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day is held every year on the 20th of June. Its a day to reflect on the situation of the millions of forcibly displaced people throughout the world. 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.
Narasimha Rao is the Chief of Mission of the UN Refugee Agency in Kosovo:
[Mr. Narasimha Rao, Chief of Mission of UNHCR in Kosovo]
20th of June UNHCR commemorates the World Refugee Day to raise the awareness and to bring the suffering of displaced people to knowledge of general population in the world. In Kosovo, of course the numbers we are talking comparing to what is happening in the world is quite low but is also unfair to displaced population that even after 15 to 16 years we are still talking about the solutions for this population. We have about eight thousand or so who are intended to return from Serbia about two to three thousand from Montenegro and about few hundreds from Former Republic of Macedonia.
There is a very good cooperation between Kosovo institutions and the governments in the region like Serbia, Montenegro, and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and that cooperation would result we hope to bring find solutions to this population both in the place of displacement and also bringing them back to their original place of before displacement.
We are hoping that we will be able to bring back some eight thousand or so from Serbia, three thousand or so from Montenegro and as I mentioned two to three hundred from Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
So, the numbers are small but the challenges are big.
Hyle Polaci is a member of Roma community returned to Peja/Pec from Montenegro.
Before we lived in Peja/Pec. After the conflict I lived in Montenegro. And I am grateful to you (UNHCR) that you have respected us and have brought us back home.
You have nicely built them but I would like more help because we are poor people. We cannot earn a living anywhere. Thank you. I wish for everyone peace.
[Journalist]- How are the conditions over here?
- Conditions are very good. The only thing we are missing is employment and assistance.
Otherwise we have no complaint. Thanks to you, we have the houses, we have the land.
Despite difficulties for employment the returnees are pleased to get back home. Miradie Isaku, a member of Roma community returned to Klinė/Klina from Montenegro compares her living conditions after returning.
It wasnt good there; we lived in containers, then from containers we were moved to tents, then into barracks. We never had a good living. We wanted to come back to our place, to live in our place.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on the international community to intensify efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts and to help achieve peace and security so that families can be reunited and refugees can return home.
The UN Refugee Agency in Kosovo has helped more than 80 people to return so far this year. It plans to continue working to find sustainable solutions for all those who want to return home.