Back To Top

U.N. refugees exhibit opens at Expo

The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees opened an exhibition at the Yeosu Expo on Sunday, displaying photographs and video clips capturing the lives of refugees around the world.

Under the theme “Risk at Sea, Rescue at Sea: The Choice Is Yours” the exhibit provides a glimpse into the real stories of people forced to flee their homes to escape persecution, war and conflict, UNHCR Korea said.

Anne Mary Campbell, a representative of UNHCR Korea, said she hopes the event will help raise Koreans’ awareness of the plight faced by thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers.

“Although many lose their lives while seeking refuge to another country, most survivors will say they would rather die trying to reach safety than to be killed in war or endure more persecution,” she said in her congratulatory speech.

“I sincerely hope visitors will feel somewhat closer to the refugees who are forced to flee their homes, often leaving behind beloved family members.”

The exhibition runs at the UN Pavilion for two weeks through June 30.

She noted that Korea, as a largely homogeneous country, will perhaps have more difficulty in embracing a multi-racial society.

“Korea is receiving more and more people seeking asylum here, and has the responsibility to accept and protect these people as a member of the 1951 Refugee Convention,” she said. 
Anne Mary Campbell, a representative of UNHCR Korea, delivers her congratulatory speech at its exhibition on refugees at the Yeosu Expo on Sunday. (UNHCR Korea)
Anne Mary Campbell, a representative of UNHCR Korea, delivers her congratulatory speech at its exhibition on refugees at the Yeosu Expo on Sunday. (UNHCR Korea)

As of April this year, Korea has received some 4,500 asylum claims but only about 280 have been recognized, according to the agency.

“Those who are going through the prolonged Refugee Status Determination process are unable to work for a full year, and are often without proper shelter and care.”

One of video clips on show delivers the story of a Somali woman who made a perilous sea journey to Yemen in the hope of offering her three-month-old son a safer life away from the fighting in her country, according to agency official Heinn Shin.

The woman, however, lost her life at sea just hours later, resulting in her young child being handed over to a foster family in the UNHCR refugee camp in Yemen.

At the exhibition, visitors will also be able to experience how it feels to spend time inside a real refugee tent and they will have the opportunity to see images of Robot Taekwon V, the UNHCR Korea goodwill envoy, and watch several documentaries on the lives of refugees.

By Oh Kyu-wook (596story@heraldcorp.com)
MOST POPULAR
LATEST NEWS
catch table
Korea Herald daum
subscribe