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UNHCR, Jolie, Curry Mark World Refugee Day

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Refugees from Bhutan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo joined United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres, film star Angelina Jolie, and NBC television anchor Ann Curry at National Geographic headquarters today. The event marked the launch of official activities leading up to World Refugee Day this Saturday, June 20.

More than 42 million displaced people around the globe—uprooted by violent conflict and ethnic persecution—live today in temporary and often unsafe conditions. Those who work to help them in refugee camps sometimes find their lives at risk as well.

The event included a live video link with refugee children in the Djabal refugee camp in eastern Chad. A 13-year-old boy in the camp addressed the Washington, D.C. audience, and shared his hope to return home.

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National Geographic News editor David Braun shares the complete story of the event on his blog, NatGeo News Watch.

Related feature: Photo Camp: Uganda (photographs by refugees)

Photographs by Rebecca Hale