UNHCR Poetry Contest: Refugees and Human Rights

The Representation of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Canada, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) and COSTI Immigrant services are pleased to introduce to you the “Refugees and Human Rights” student poetry contest, organized in celebration of both the World Poetry Day (March 21st) and Refugee Day (June 20th).

The contest is open to students in schools, anywhere in Canada, in three categories:

  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 8
  • Grades 9 to 12

The contest provides students from Grades 4 to 12 with the opportunity to express their feelings and thoughts – in English or in French – on the theme of refugee and human rights issues, including:

  • fleeing from violence and persecution
  • seeking refuge from war, pain and isolation
  • cultural/religious differences and co-existence
  • the importance of welcoming refugees
  • the challenges of adapting to life in a new country
  • the need for being welcomed and learning to live together in our society

The contest fits naturally into social studies and civic education curricula, with links to history, geography, language/literature and art; while also cultivating greater interest in creative writing.

The poems will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity, characterization, artistic quality, adherence to the topic and rules established for the contest.

UNHCR, COSTI Immigrant Services and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, in association with the Canada Council for the Arts, will publish on their websites the winning poems.

Each Grade category, for both French and English will be awarded a first, second and third prize.

  • The contest runs from 10 December 2015 to 29 April 2016.
  • The deadline for entries is 29 April 2016.

Use these links to find:

Additional information, as well as contest application forms, is available in the ESA Library.