23.06.2004 - Press Release World Refugee Day 2004

AEGEE Press Release to mark the World Refugee Day and related issues The Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) of AEGEE-Europe would like to commemorate June the 20th 2004, the World Refugee Day, by emphasising its continued commitment to the issue, both with regard to awareness-raising, as well as through lobbying for continued progress in the field with the main actors concerned.

The HRWG has been active, especially recently, through a series of actions and events for such awareness-raising and lobbying, with personalities in the field invited and participating in the discussions focusing on issues such as Human Trafficking and Smuggling in Europe (Passau - November 2003) and Integration of Immigrants (Valletta - March 2004), while preparing to tackle other issues such as the Impact of Immigration on Local Society and Asylum Policy in the upcoming conferences in Genova and Budapest. A Case Study Trip on Immigration and the Future of Europe is also planned through Morocco, Spain and France.

We believe that the voice of young people of Europe, which AEGEE speaks out as the largest interdisciplinary pan-European network of students in this regard, is important in both raising public awareness in local communities and beyond, as well as in getting across to the decision-makers in the field, at both national and European level, in order to ensure a fairer playing-field for all. While commenting the improvements that have been made in this regard in Europe over the past years, both by European and local official bodies, as well as through other NGOs such as Amnesty International, the Red Cross and the Jesuit Refugee Service, we would like to stress that there is still a lot to be done. We sincerely hope that our contribution will be valuable in furthering the aims stated above, as well as in keeping with the spirit of both our lobby group and our Association.

The Human Rights Working Group (HRWG) of AEGEE is an independent working group within AEGEE, whose main activities are spreading information, organising and supporting projects within AEGEE on the subject of Human Rights. Its main aim is to bring human rights violations into public notice and to raise awareness of violations of human dignity in order to make sure that these crimes are not neglected or forgotten.

AEGEE is one of Europe's largest interdisciplinary and voluntary student associations, operating without being linked to any political party, promoting a unified Europe, cross-border co-operation, communication and integration in academic environment, and at the same time striving to create an open and tolerant society by involving students and young graduates in valuable projects and discussions over the topics of importance for the communities they live in. It is represented in 260 university cities, in 42 countries all around Europe and has about 17000 members.

More information:
Ewa Solarczyk
Vice-President / Director for Public Relations, AEGEE-Europe
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Vangelis Antonakis
Public Relations Officer, Human Rights Working Group (HRWG)
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