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Refugee Assistance

1980 General Resolution

WHEREAS, there are now at least ten million refugees (a refugee is defined as someone outside his or her country who is unable or unwilling to return to that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of prosecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group); and

WHEREAS, these ten million refugees, half of whom are children, are from many areas of the world: Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Southeast Asia; and

WHEREAS, political instability and repressive regimes in many countries will tend to exacerbate the refugee problem so that it becomes a permanent condition of life; and

WHEREAS, Unitarian Universalists, as the victims of religious persecution in the past, are sensitive to the plight of refugees;

BE IT RESOLVED: That the 1980 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association affirm its support of the work of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees in seeking repatriation of refugees whenever possible, or resettlement in the country of asylum or a third country whenever necessary, as well as the work of UNICEF and other intergovernmental and voluntary agencies in their efforts to relieve the situation of refugees; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That this Assembly commend the efforts of the United States and Canadian governments to assist in immediate relief and resettlement of refugees; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That this Assembly urge local societies and individuals to support their government's efforts in assisting refugees; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED: That this Assembly urge local societies to investigate ways to aid refugees through programs of sponsorship, language lessons, vocational training, and other forms of community support as well as programs of education and consciousness raising on the refugee problem for their members and local communities.

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