What is World Refugee Day?
World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.
Find out how countries around the globe celebrate World Refugee Day this year and read our 2021 World Refugee Day Live Blog or select a country from the drop-down:
2021 World Refugee Day theme: Together we heal, learn and shine
People who have been forced to flee often struggle to find a doctor when they are sick. Far from home, they struggle to find schools for their children or even a place for them to run around and play.
We work together with refugees every day to help them access these services and build better futures – and we need your help to achieve this!
Access to health care and medical support saves lives. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works together with partners and host communities to make sure that people forced to flee their homes receive the care they need.
Education helps people forced to flee build better futures. We are working together with partners to provide refugee children access to quality education so they can pursue better lives.
Sport can enrich the lives of people forced to flee their homes. In our work to protect refugees, we use sport to create safe and protective environments where everyone can discover their potential.
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Why is World Refugee Day important?
World Refugee Day shines a light on the rights, needs and dreams of refugees, helping to mobilize political will and resources so refugees can not only survive but also thrive. While it is important to protect and improve the lives of refugees every single day, international days like World Refugee Day help to focus global attention on the plight of those fleeing conflict or persecution. Many activities held on World Refugee Day create opportunities to support refugees.
When is World Refugee Day? When did World Refugee Day start?
World Refugee Day falls each year on June 20 and is dedicated to refugees around the globe. World Refugee Day was held globally for the first time on June 20, 2001, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. It was originally known as Africa Refugee Day, before the United Nations General Assembly officially designated it as an international day in December 2000.
What happens on World Refugee Day?
Each year, World Refugee Day is marked by a variety of events in many countries around the globe in support of refugees. These activities are led by or involve refugees themselves, government officials, host communities, companies, celebrities, school children and the general public, among others. Read our World Refugee Day Live Blog to discover some of the activities that took place in 2021.