On 20 June the international community will turn its attention to the 20 million men, women and children worldwide who are currently under the protection of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees having been forced to flee their country as a result of war, natural disaster or persecution. This year world refugee day has the theme "Refugee youth: building the future", and in Rome it will be marked by a series of events, including a screening of Michael Winterbottom's award-winning film "Cose di questo mondo" ("In This World") which documents the hazardous journey made by two Afghan refugees to London (Villa Mercede, Via Tiburtina 113, 21.00). According to the Consiglio Italiano per i Rifugiati (CIR), which works in Italy on behalf of the UNHCR, 9,755 asylum applications were made in this country in 2001. Of these, only 16 per cent of applicants were granted refugee status, with a further four per cent receiving a special temporary permit of stay for humanitarian reasons. For information see the CIR website www.cir-onlus.org or the UNHCR website www.unhcr.ch.
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