A refugee photo exhibition was held at the APU convention hall from 9 to 13 October, 2017. The event was jointly held by the student circle peace×piece, Two Stars, and Professor Uehara’s seminar class. The exhibition’s purpose was raising awareness about refugees and letting the participants develop their own opinions on refugee issues. The photos shown in the exhibition were provided by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Amnesty International. Over 400 students, faculty, and other visitors came to the exhibition.
Refugees are people who are forced to leave their home countries because of hunger, poverty, racism, wars, or political reasons. In recent years, refugee problems have become notably serious around the world, particularly in countries such as Syria and South Sudan. There are 21.3 million people recognized as refugees today, and half of them are children.
In response to these problems, many countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, and Uganda are accepting refugees and providing them with necessary support. On the other hand, many developed countries including Japan have not made any significant progress toward solving refugee problems. In 2014, 5000 people applied to the Japanese government for refugee status, but only 11 of them (0.2%) passed the application process. Thus, raising awareness and letting people think more about refugee issues in Japan might be crucial to solving this problem, which is the purpose of this photo exhibition.
Refugees are people. They simply want the same life that others enjoy. However, they cannot; they have to endure much more, including homelessness, hunger, injury, illness, loss of loved ones, and so on. It is undeniable that governments have concerns, such as security problems caused by refugees. As long as we keep our awareness and sympathy for refugees, there is always hope. We can make the world a better place.