Long Day of Escape: UNHCR Event in Austria on Refuge, Human Rights and Coexistence

More+More+ ♦ Published: October 1, 2021; 17:51 ♦ (Vindobona)

Escape, human rights and peaceful coexistence are the focus of the UNHCR event series "Long Day of Escape", which took place for the 10th time this year.

„Long day of escape“ (Langer Tag der Flucht) in Austria: 100 free events and program points around the topics of escape, human rights and coexistence. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / Irish Defence Forces [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

In this tenth anniversary year, a total of around 100 program items were offered free of charge. The "Long Day of Escape" started in the morning with a tailor-made program for school classes. The general program, which was also free of charge, offered almost 50 individual events until late in the evening.

The "Long Day of Escape" was initiated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); in the meantime, dozens of NGOs, civil society initiatives, art and cultural institutions, and sports clubs have joined in as organizers with a wide variety of program items. 

The national UNHCR office in Austria focused on advocacy in the field of unaccompanied minors, relocation (from Greek islands), social rights for holders of subsidiary protection, integration of refugees, quality assurance in asylum procedures and awareness-raising activities among other things.

On the "Long Day of Escape", visitors can approach the topic of refuge in a variety of ways and depending on their personal interests.

On the one hand, UNHCR wants to offer opportunities to deal with various aspects in depth and discover new things, and on the other hand, despite all the seriousness of the topic, also create space for light-hearted encounters at workshops, sports and games," says Christoph Pinter, Head of UNHCR Austria.

Numerous museums (e.g. the Weltmuseum, the Jewish Museum in Vienna and Hohenems or the Upper Belvedere in Vienna) again opened their doors and offered special guided tours and programs.

Also the Escape Room by artist Deborah Sengl in the MuseumsQuartier Vienna could again be visited free of charge throughout the day. In addition, exhibitions in Steyr, Imst and Vienna also illuminated the topic of refuge from a local perspective.

Visitors could enjoy a meal together and talk in a relaxed atmosphere, for example at the Freunde Café in Vienna or at the "Long Table" in Eisenstadt, as well as at the Living Books event at Café Baharat.

The UNHCR soccer tournament, hosted by the Vienna Viktoria, and the rugby try-out have a long tradition at the "Long Day of Escape". Another fixture was the street action in downtown Linz.

Readings are a classic event, this year featuring the Syrian-born writer Omar Khir Alanam in Vienna and the author Nahid Shahalimi, who spoke in Linz about the lives of women in Afghanistan. Also back on the program were special city tours, for example in Innsbruck, cinema screenings, small-scale concerts and workshops.

Those who preferred to participate from their living rooms or on the road could click through the WebQuest, a digital puzzle rally designed by UNHCR. Online discussions and podcasts completed the digital program.

Langer Tag der Flucht