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Youth of Kyrgyzstan deepen their knowledge on Refugees’ Rights

The UN Refugee Agency in cooperation with nine universities in Kyrgyzstan organized a debate competition “Equal Rights Cup” devoted to upcoming World Refugees Day, which annually celebrated worldwide on 20th of June. Nine law department university students competed for the main prize of 200 USD.

“I regularly participate in debate competitions organized by UNHCR office, not only I have enlarged knowledge about refugees rights and problems but today, I want to be engaged in the process of assisting them”, says Kanat Nogoibaev, student of Kyrgyz –Turkish Manas University.

The main goal of this competition is to promote tolerant attitude among youth towards refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced persons. The ‘Equal Rights Cup” gave an opportunity to students to highlight refugees rights and related legislation in the Kyrgyz Republic and involved participants to debate on important refugee issues in front of specialized jury, composed of law practitioners and university professors, arguing on different legal and procedural aspects related to refugee rights.

“It is very important to continue this tradition as debating empowers youth, strengthens critical thinking and develops sense of social responsibility", says Maki Shinohara, UNHCR Representative in Kyrgyzstan.

During the course of the contest, students were able to understand better the cooperation between government institutions, NGOs and international organizations to solve the problems of refugees, internally displaced persons and how to contribute to the formation of a tolerant attitude towards them.