BISHKEK, June 21 (TCA) – Yesterday, June 20 Kyrgyzstan commemorated World Refugee Day through a wide campaign of awareness-raising activities in Bishkek, Osh and Jalalabad.
On this day, Refugee reception center in Bishkek for asylum seekers held a concert prepared by refugees’ children. The national and international partners enjoyed dances, songs and national foods prepared also by refugees and heard the stories of those with no choice
but to flee their countries.
Kyrgyzstan has 159 refugees and 218 asylum seekers, according to the Kyrgyz Spokesperson’s Office for the Ministry of Youth, Labour and Employment, as 24.kg reported.
At its peak, tens of thousands of refugees from Tajikistan found protection from the civil war in Kyrgyzstan. Now in 2012, the number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Kyrgyzstan is over 800. They are from all over the world, but the majority has fled war-torn Afghanistan to seek safety and a new life in Kyrgyzstan, according to UNHCR.
As noted, World Refugee Day was introduced by the UN General Assembly resolution of December 4, 2000 in order to draw public attention to the problems of this category of persons. At present over 15 million refugees and over 27 million internally displaced persons are registered in the world.
Since it opened offices in Bishkek in 1995, UNHCR invested around fifty million dollars to assist Kyrgyzstan protect refugees and prevent and reduce statelessness. The UN refugee agency has offices in Bishkek, Osh, and Jalalabad.