Deaf Connections and Scottish Refugee Council release new version of Courage to mark 60 Years of Refugee Convention

** Watch the two-minute film at **

Scottish Refugee Council and Deaf Connections have come together to release a brand-new British Sign Language version of Courage: 60 Years of the UN Refugee Convention, the short documentary that left audiences stunned during the recent Refugee Week festival.

The BSL version will be released on July 28 2011, 60 years to the day that the UN Refugee Convention was created.

The date is the next in a line of commemorations throughout 2011, including Refugee Week in June and culminating in an international summit at Geneva in December 2011.

Courage is a unique short film made by a group of men and women from across the world – who all came to Scotland seeking safety. With the assistance of film company Media Co-op the six filmmakers, from as far afield as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo, researched, directed, filmed and produced this moving and important two-minute documentary.

Gary Christie, Head of Policy and Communications at Scottish Refugee Council said: ‘Courage: 60 Years of the UN Refugee Convention was a huge success during the recent Refugee Week, screening at over 50 venues across Scotland and attracting hundreds of views on YouTube.

‘As we approach the date that the lifesaving UN Convention came into being, it’s wonderful that we can extend the reach of this moving film thanks to Deaf Connections and their British Sign Language translation.’

Gordon Chapman, CEO of Deaf Connections, said: ‘Deaf Connections is proud to have made Courage more accessible to a deaf audience by producing a British Sign Language version with the help of our BME community support project Ishara.

‘During the Holocaust many deaf people were murdered by the Nazis and the UN Refugee Convention was a direct response to such atrocities. We know how difficult and frightening life can be for deaf asylum seekers and we are committed to working with the Scottish Refugee Council and the Home Office to help find protection from persecution for those who need it.’

For more information contact Scottish Refugee Council media officer Clare Harris on 0141 223 7927/ 07850 930418


Notes to editors

  1. Courage: 60 Years of the UN Refugee Convention was produced by six refugees living in Scotland with the assistance of Media Co-op and Scottish Refugee Council with the support of the Big Lottery Fund. It was first released on June 20, 2011.
  2. Staff at Deaf Connections’s, Ishara Project, which provides support to deaf and hearing-impaired members of BME communities, created a British Sign Language version of the film at Deaf Connections’ fully-equipped multimedia studio.
  3. The 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (commonly referred to as the Refugee Convention or 1951 Convention) is the key legal document that gives the definition of what a refugee is and sets out the rights of refugees to be protected. The Convention has protected millions of lives since it was put together in 1951 following the atrocities of the Second World War.
  4. Scottish Refugee Council is an independent charity providing help and advice to those who have fled human rights abuses or other persecution in their homeland and now seek refuge in Scotland. For more see
  5. As one of Scotland’s leading voluntary organisations, Deaf Connections provides specialist help and advice to deaf adults and helps to empower them to make autonomous decisions. 
  6. Deaf Connections aims to ensure that deaf adults and those who are hearing impaired participate fully in society by making equality and fairness a normal feature of their everyday lives and are committed to the development of technology to promote this.
  7. Deaf Connections and Scottish Refugee Council encourage the Home Office to be aware of the needs of deaf people within the asylum system and to improve the experience they have.