Saturday, 28 July 2007

A one-minute message on the issue of internal refugees:

Since 1948 there has been a Palestinian refugee crisis caused by the forced depopulation of around 500 Palestinian communities. Currently the UN estimates that there are over 5 million refugees, many of whom are living in camps that have been in existence for almost 60 years. A camp like Aida in Bethlehem lacks proper health care services, education and infrastructure. International implementation of UN Resolution 194 can help amend some of these human rights violations and assist in alleviating the Palestinian refugee crisis.

This was an exercise we did as part of our advocacy training at the end of the conference. Each group chose a different issue within the Occupation and had to summarise it in under a minute. Very difficult!

UN Resolution 194 was passed in 1948 and is a key part of the Palestinian demand. The particular part that's relevant the the refugee issue is Article 11, which states:
"...that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible..."

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