World Refugee Year 1959-1960


Many refugees remained in camps almost fifteen years after the end of the Second World War. This was seen as disgraceful by those who had suffered greatly during the war and those who were concerned about their situation. It was at this point that the United Nations launched a program to resolve the refugee problem once and for all. 1959-1960 was announced as World Refugee Year. The aim of this project was to 'clear the camps'. It achieved some significant results, especially in Europe. By the end of 1960, for the first time since before the war, all the refugee camps in Europe were closed. ( -> )







While browsing my Belgian catalogue I came across a set of stamps commemorating the World Refugee Year. This catalogue entry is accompanied by a footnote.

“Approximately 70 independent countries have issued, at the same time, postage stamps to commemorate the World Refugee Year 1959/1960. It was the first time that so many countries were involved in a joint-issue.”

It was the ‘approximately’ that got me searching.

If I may call, for simplicity reasons, Herm Island an independent country, then I have found 73 countries so far. 73 countries is indeed ‘approximately 70’ and this would mean that I have found all participating countries. However, 74 is in my opinion also ‘approximately 70’ and this would mean that I have missed one.

You may find the complete list under 'countries'. If you know of any other countries that should be in this list, I'd appreciated if you'd let me know.

You may also find links to more detailed pages for each individual country. I'm also not sure about the completeness of this information and any help to accomplish this is of course most welcome.

If you have any information for me about these stamps, please let me know.

Many thanks,

Sir Hystrix.


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