Dictionary book

Real stories to illustrate definitions from the new refugee dictionary


THE dean of CountdownThe Dictionary Corner, Susie Dent, is supporting a campaign for a refugee dictionary that will define ‘refugee’ through thousands of stories, launched by the UK charity of the United Nations Refugee Agency for mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Refugee Convention. Anglican archbishops have come up with their own definitions.

Article 1 of the Convention defines a refugee as “a person who is outside his country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinions; and is unable or unwilling to avail itself of, or return to, the protection of that country for fear of persecution.

The aim of the Refugee Dictionary is to ‘remind us of the rich tapestry of stories and futures made possible by this important human rights convention and to celebrate the UK’s proud tradition of giving refuge by inviting the public to join us, ”a UK press release for UNHCR said. “Refugees are not confined or defined by a word, but are individuals with a myriad of stories, hopes and rich lives. Everyone is invited to participate.

For the Archbishop of Canterbury, a refugee is a person “made in the divine image of God who himself has known persecution and homelessness”. His predecessor, Lord Williams, noted that a refugee was “someone who asks us, ‘Are you home enough to be home with you? any of us, if the securities of life are broken. It’s me tomorrow if freedoms end.

Ms. Dent’s definition was the mother who sees her child smiling again, without trouble, full of hope ”.

Other contributors include the first female Syrian refugee pilot and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Maya Ghazal.

The book will be released on July 28.

unrefugees.org.uk/refugeedictionary