June 20th has been set up as the World Refugee Day by the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees). The IJF joined the campaign and through its different Judo for Peace programs is active to support refugees throughout the world.

On World Refugee Day 2018, UNHCR's focus is solidarity for refugees by all parts of the society. Throughout 2018, the aim is to mobilize global public and challenge all members of society to do something to stand with refugees.

The #WithRefugees campaign was launched in 2016 with the aim of mobilizing global solidarity at a time of historic levels of displacement and rising anti-foreigner rhetoric. Since the campaign launched, a core objective has been to counter stereotypes and show that refugees and IDPs (Internally displaced persons) are simply ordinary people caught yup in extraordinary circumstances.

World Refugee Day calls to action • 20 June is World Refugee Day. It will show how people stand #WithRefugees today • Sign the #WithRefugees petition (http://www.unhcr.org/withrefugees) • Visit the #WithRefugees solidarity map to see the global actions for refugees!

UNHCR’s #WithRefugees campaign is also inviting cities all over the world who are working to promote inclusion, support refugees and bring communities together, to sign a statement of solidarity #WithRefugees ahead of World Refugee Day 20 June.

Judo for Peace programme in the Kilis Refugee Camp (Turkey)

On the occasion of that special solidarity day, Marius Vizer, the IJF President declared: “Since 2007, when I created the 'Judo For Peace' commission within the International Judo Federation, our organization, alone or in association with other structures, has been carrying out many projects with the aim to build a lasting peace in conflict zones and to bring values ​​that are useful to social reconstruction, while our world goes through troubled times.

One of the main axes of development of our programs is to work with the displaced people. Whether it is for political or economic reasons, or because they are forcibly transferred following a conflict, millions of refugees are thrown onto the roads of the world each year. Traumatized and having often lost everything, after having found again the vital minimums, these vulnerable people and especially the youngest, need our help. This is a basic question of humanism carried by the values ​​of judo and decreed by the founder of our sport, Master Jigoro Kano, who had defined one of the mottos of judo: 'Mutual aid and mutual prosperity'.“

Maheba Refugee Settlement in Zambia

Since 2007 and the creation of the Judo for Peace commission, many programmes have been ran by the IJF. With the support of the Turkish Judo Federation, the IJF set up a large program in Syrian refugee camps within 60km of the city of Aleppo while under the bombs (film: https://youtu.be/utJCdr5UKIA). Judo for Peace is present in Zambia and Malawi in camps (respectively Maheba and Dzaleka Refugee Camps) hosting thousands of African refugees. The IJF is also running a Judo for the World program in South Africa, where one IJF Academy graduates, Roberto Orlando, is working with refugees who are already in a situation of integration with the local population but who, due to their status, encounter social difficulties. Last but not least, for many years, the IJF has been present in the Great Lakes region of Africa (Burundi, Rwanda) and provides logistical, financial and human support to lay the foundations for a more prosperous future.

More information: • http://www.unhcr.org/withrefugeeshttp://www.unhcr.orghttp://www.un.org/en/events/refugeeday

See also