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1 Fridtjof Nansen, Russian Refugees 1 (1923)

handle is hein.unl/rsnrfg0001 and id is 1 raw text is:                                                Extract No 19, from the Obicial Journal.

                                                                     (C. 473. 1923.)

                              LEAGUE OF NATIONS

                        RUSSIAN REFUGEES

                            REPORT BY Dr. NANSEN

    I have the honour to submit  for the information of the Council the following report
on the work accomplished  by the High  Commissariat  on behalf of the Russian Refugees
since the last session of the Council.

                          1. Identify Certificates for Refugees.

    I am very glad to be able to report exceedingly good progress in the arrangements for
the issue of identity certificates to Russian refugees in various countries. Almost all the
Members  of the League interested in the question have adopted the identity certificate system,
and the German   Government,  which  at present affords hospitality to some hundreds of
thousands of refugees, has also adhered to the system. The great advantages to the refugees
of possessing these documents are too many and too obvious to need emphasis in this report,
and a detailed Memorandum   (C. L. 12) on the subject has already been circulated for the
information of the States Members.  I am  happy to announce  that, since the issue of this
statement, the Governments of Poland, Albania, Denmark, Luxemburg,  Japan  and Mexico
have formally adhered to the arrangement, or adopted it in principle, and Hungary has also
notified me unofficially of her proposed adhesion. China, which is very closely concerned
in the refugee question, has not yet adopted the system, and I make a special appeal to
the Chinese representative on the Council. I very much hope that his Government's adhesion
will not be long delayed.
    As a result of representations made by the High Commissariat to the British, French
and  Italian Delegations at the Lausanne Conference, Signor Mondana  obtained a verbal
promise from the Turkish Delegation that its Government would deliver identity certificates
to the refugees. remaining in Constantinople, on the model recommended  by the Geneva
Conference.  This promise has since been confirmed verbally to my representative in Constan-
tinople, who is now endeavouring to bring the matter to a satisfactory formal conclusion.

             2. Situation of Russian Refugee Children in various Countries.

    The  High Commissariat  has continued to mainain  a particular interest in the welfare
of these unfortunate children, not only because the interests of children make a special appeal
to all, but particularly because of the exceedingly unhappy situation of the Russian refugee
children. A special effort has been made on behalf of the Russian refugee children who were
in Constantinople because of the urgent necessity of evacuating all the refugees possible
from that city, and I venture to think that, on the whole, our efforts in this direction have
met  with a moderate amount  of success. The transfer to Belgium of the Bebek Orphanage
and the St.- George Institute has been effected with our assistance, and a grant has been
made  to the former orphanage to enable it to be established in that country. The transfer
has further been secured of considerable groups of children to France, where arrangements
for their adoption and  welfare have  been  undertaken  by the  Placement familial and
other responsible French organisations. In addition, some hundreds of children transferred
from  Constantinople to Bulgaria have  been maintained and  educated from  funds made
available by the  Bulgarian Government   and the  High Commissariat.   These funds are
now  practically exhausted and the future of these children therefore becomes in the highest
degree critical.
     It is estimated that there are approximately  11(0,00) Russian refugee children in
Eufrope, a large proportion of whom are totally unprovided for.

              3. Situation of Russian Refuyee invalids in various Countries.

     It is not necessary for me to emphasise the deplorable situation of these unfortunate
people and the great claim they have on the symiipathy of the relief organisations and on the
benevolent attitude of the public in general. The High Comnissariat has arranged for the
transfer of upwards of 800 invalids from Constantinople and Egypt toBulgaria, where grants
have been made  to the Russian Red Cross for their uaintenance. In addition, 693 invalids,

S. d. N. I00 (F) + 500 (A) 7,23. Imp. d'Ambilyv.

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