The 20th of June marks the World Refugee Day and the national theme this year was “PNG Welcomes Refugees”.
To commemorate this day, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Services Authority, hosted an event at the National Museum and Art Gallery in Port Moresby to show PNG’s support to refugees.
UN Resident Coordinator, Roy Trivedy, upon addressing the audience present at the event said ongoing conflict and disturbing forms of violence is the main reason forcing people out of their homes to search for safety.
He added that according to UN research, at the end of 2015 there were 21 million refugees, 3.2 million asylum seekers and 40.8 million internally displaced people in the world.
Among these statistics are West Papuans.
Esther Gaegaming, Deputy Migration Officer, said the West Papuans residing in PNG will soon be granted PNG citizenship.
She emphasised that their aim is to have over 85 per cent of all West Papuans in PNG registered by the end of this year.