Title ID 7055Collection ID985
TitleWorld Refugee Year [Refugee Appeal; Duke of Edinburgh]
CollectionOckenden Venture
Genre/TypeProfessionalFilm/Video companyInstitutionalNon-fictionPromotional/Publicity
ThemeWartime and Military
KeywordsBroadcasting Children Charities Royalty Social Problems Second World War (1939-1945)
NationalEngland United Kingdom
ProductionRank Screen Services
FormatBlack & White Sound
Duration2 min. 48 sec.
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


H.R.H. The Duke of Edinburgh appeals to British citizens to donate in aid of refugees as part of World Refugee Year (1959-1960).


"Give Them a Chance: an appeal by His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh." Refugees are seen on carts and walking through landscapes. "The people you have just seen are refugees, escaping from the horrors of war and persecution. They've lost everything, and many are still looking for a place to live." Overcrowded camps and shanty towns in Hong Kong, the Middle East and Europe are shown. Their inhabitants are seen, children, the sick and the old. "They've doing everything they can to help themselves, trying to give their children a better start in life." The Duke of Edinburgh appeals for donations, urgently needed to help them. He explains that World Refugee Year joins the UK with men and women from other countries to "bring new hope" for refugees. Closing remarks folow; "Make sure the contribution from this country will be an example to the rest of the world. Please, before it's too late, give them a chance."

Contextual information

Initiated by the UK and approved by the General Assembly, World Refugee Year (1959-1960) aimed to address the lives of refugees that lay outside the High Commissioners mandate, restricted by legal criteria. Each country could help whatever group of refugees it desired, including those in unofficial DP camps and shanty towns. Around seventy countries announced participation in W.R.Y., aiming to “clear the camps.” Since 1959, the UN has designated years to humanitarian causes in order to encourage international action.

The surrender of Germany in 194 left millions homeless after their deportation and forced labour, and the destruction of their homes. Unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin after their homes and communities had been destroyed and displaced, refugees remained in camps or lived as “freelivers” for nearly two decades years after the war had ended. Publicity surrounding WRY was needed to raise funds, heighten awareness of international efforts and resettle refugees still living in camps, official and unofficial, for nearly 15 years. The campaign films present an international response to the refugee crisis, and signaled a move away from temporary and local solutions to international effort.