by Patrick Hakiza
Every year on June 20, the world celebrates World Refugee Day, which this year has as its theme: the right to seek asylum.
Everyone on our planet has the right to seek safety – whoever, wherever they come from and whenever they were forced to flee.
EVERYONE: People forced to flee must be cared for with dignity. Anyone can access international protection, regardless of who he/she is or what he/she believes. It's non-negotiable: the quest for security is a human right.
EVERYWHERE: Wherever they come from, uprooted people must be welcomed. Refugees come from many countries around the world. To get away from danger, they can take the plane or the boat, or even travel on foot. What remains universal is the right to seek security.
ALL THE TIME : As soon as people are forced to flee, they have the right to benefit from international protection. Whatever the risks to their life – war, violence, persecution – everyone has the right to be protected. Everyone has the right to live in security.
WRD celebration in Kampala by refugees living in Uganda (photo credit Patrick Hakiza)
This year, Uganda is commemorating World Refugee Day amid growing concerns over the growing number of refugees seeking safety across and within borders.
EVERYONE, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME Uganda has fully embraced this principle by keeping its borders open and welcoming 62,000 women, men, girls and boys who have fled the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan since the beginning of the year.
Burundian refugees in Uganda/ Burundian cultural dance (photo credit Patrick Hakiza)
Somali refugees in Uganda (photo credit Patrick Hakiza)
Exhibition of products by refugees (Patrick Hakiza)
Traditional dance from DR Congo by Congolese refugees in Uganda (Patrick Hakiza)
Makayabo: salted fish, a favorite Congolese food was also present at the expo (Patrick Hakiza)
Congolese dance by young refugees (Patrick Hakiza)
When refugees are supported to survive the trauma of displacement, they become productive members of society, contributing to economic, social and cultural development.
The Burundian drum, a great culture (Patrick Hakiza)