The Centre for Peace Studies (CMS) has launched a campaign called #ovdježivimo (#welivehere) on World Refugee Day, which is observed on June 20, to share the stories of refugees who have found their new home in Croatia about their integration in the new environment.
In short videos, refugees from Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and Congo speak about their life in Croatia, what they do and what they consider important. In this way, Croatian citizens can get to know their new neighbours who have been granted international protection, who live and work here, make friends and try to make their wishes and dreams come true, the CMS said in a statement.
As part of its Weeks for Refugees campaign, which lasts until June 27, the CMS is organising online panels and round tables, interactive workshops, exhibitions of photographs, stage plays, webinars and social events in nine cities across the country to raise awareness of the difficult circumstances faced by refugees in Croatia.
According to data from the UN refugee agency UNHCR, 79.5 million people worldwide were displaced from their homes at the end of 2019, of whom 40 percent were children. Although the number of people in need of security is growing, both the European Union and Croatia approved fewer refugee protections than the previous year as fewer than 300,000 people were granted protection in the EU and as few as 158 in Croatia.
Refugees seeking protection in Croatia, in theory, are guaranteed a host of rights under Croatian and international law, but in practice, they encounter many institutional barriers as well as discrimination when they try to exercise these rights.