Today is World Refugee Day

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Today is World Refugee Day, a time to consider the plight of the more than 43 million people around the world who have been uprooted and displaced from their homes. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is organizing a variety of events worldwide providing information about refugees and what you can do to help. These events include a film festival in Thailand, a Tunisian photography competition featuring images of Libyan refugees, and a “living library” in the parliamentary assembly of the Council of Europe, where refugees can be “borrowed” by the public to tell their stories. You can also take a short quiz prepared by the UN to test your knowledge of this humanitarian issue.

Several POV films have put a personal face on refugees, including Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars (POV 2007), The Lost Boys of Sudan (POV 2004), Rain in a Dry Land (POV 2007) and The Betrayal (Nerakhoon) (POV 2009). To learn more, check out their websites and accompanying materials, including lesson plans with streaming clips.

Premiering July 12 on POV, Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath‘s Enemies of the People boldy presents shocking testimony from Khmer Rouge insiders responsible for the massacres at the Killing Fields of Cambodia, including Pol Pot’s right-hand man, Brother Number Two. After these massacres and a subsequent 13-year civil war, many Cambodians fled to refugee camps in neighboring Thailand, with more than 100,000 Cambodian refugees eventually settling in the United States.

Watch the trailer for Enemies of the People:

Ashlin Aronin
Ashlin Aronin
Ashlin Aronin is a 2011 intern in POV's Digital department. He is currently a student at Wesleyan University where he works as a videographer in the New Media Lab. Ashlin enjoys watching a wide range of films, but he is particularly interested in those which blur the line between truth and fiction. His favorite documentaries include: 1. Nobody's Business - Alan Berliner 2. Exit Through the Gift Shop - Banksy 3. Capturing the Friedmans - Andrew Jarecki 4. High School - Frederick Wiseman 5. F for Fake - Orson Welles