UNHCR Representative in Japan
UNHCR Representation in Japan is pleased to present the 8th edition of the UNHCR Refugee Film Festival.
Today, more than 45 million people have been forcibly displaced outside or inside their own country around the world. Last year, about 7.6 million people became newly displaced. One person every 4 seconds.
The Syria conflict is the most complex humanitarian crisis at present. By June 2013, more than 1.6 million Syrians have sought refuge in neighboring countries. An estimated 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, of which 4.2 million are internally displaced. In the absence of any political solutions, we fear that some 3.5 million people will flee to neighboring countries by the end of 2013.
These figures are mind boggling and difficult to comprehend. Therefore, it is important to share and tell the human stories, often unheard, behind these numbers. Every number represents an individual, who has been forced to flee due to conflict or persecution, with his or her own story.
The 8th UNHCR Refugee Film Festival aims to tell these personal stories and appeals for greater understanding for the difficulties they have faced, especially those who are forced to keep silent. These are stories not only of fear, loss and trauma, but also of courage, hope and success.
Film is a potent tool to share these human stories and I hope that they will inspire you to reach out and assist in any way possible.
Johan Cels, UNHCR Representative in Japan
* Since the Global Festa Japan 2013 is held outdoors, there are no admission limits.
Every year, the UNHCR Refugee Film Festival is made possible by generous contributions from various sponsors and individual supporters. Donations in support of the Refugee Film Festival and the work of UNHCR are highly appreciated.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides protection and assistance to the world's refugees. Based in Geneva, Switzerland, the agency was created by the United Nations General Assembly and began work in 1951. People of concern to UNHCR include not only refugees, but also asylum seekers, refugees who have returned home, stateless people, and internally displaced persons.
The UNHCR Office in Tokyo works with the Japanese Government, which is the second largest contributor to UNHCR, as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the private sector to support refugees, both worldwide and in Japan.