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Forced To Flee

Forced To Flee

Persecution. Violence. War? Forced To Flee, the new podcast from UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, tells the extraordinary stories of people who lived through some of the most tumultuous events of the past 70 years. The story of the mother who fled Vietnam by sea and fell into the hands of pirates, and of the orphaned schoolboy who found his calling thanks to a disposable camera. The story of the Venezuelan musicians who found hope with a new orchestra, and of the daughter of refugees who joined the rescue effort during Rwanda?s genocide. And stories of the many humanitarian workers who for seven decades have endeavoured to protect the forcibly displaced. Over seven episodes, we revisit some of the major emergencies of the post-war that have forced millions of people to leave their homes in search of safety and peace.We discover why they fled, what they endured, and what happened next. And as UNHCR and the 1951 Refugee Convention both mark their 70th year, we also look to the future and ask how the world must respond to record levels of forced human displacement.


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In the opening episode, we tell the story of two refugees who made very different journeys more than 35 years apart, but who faced many similar challenges in their efforts to escape conflict and persecution ? including exploitation, abuse and despair before escape, rescue and renewed hope. 


Thuy is a refugee from Viet Nam who fled in 1979 as one of the millions of ?boat people?. Instead of a swift rescue, she was marooned on an island where she had to hide every night from marauding pirates. We also hear the story of Samrawit, an Eritrean woman who fled her home?in 2016 only to be?abducted?by people traffickers. Once freed, she later survived a shipwreck off the coast of Libya before her odyssey ultimately led her to Sweden.

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