Refugee Week takes place every year across the world in the week around World Refugee Day on the 20th of June. In the UK, Refugee Week (June 18-24, 2018) is a nationwide program of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities.
Refugee Week started in 1998 as a direct reaction to hostility in the media and society in general towards refugees and asylum seekers and is now one of the leading national initiatives working to counter this negative climate.
The aims of Refugee Week are:
- To encourage a diverse range of events to be held throughout the UK, which facilitate positive encounters between refugees and the general public in order to encourage greater understanding and overcome hostility
- To showcase the talent and expertise that refugees bring with them to the UK
- To explore new and creative ways of addressing the relevant issues and reach beyond the refugee sector
- To provide information which educates and raises awareness of the reality of refugee experiences
Refugee Week is an umbrella festival, with events held by a wide range of arts, voluntary, faith and refugee community organizations, schools, student groups and more. Past events have included arts festivals, exhibitions, film screenings, theatre and dance performances, concerts, football tournaments and public talks, as well as creative and educational activities in schools.