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Live Blog: 2023 Asia-Pacific World Refugee Day Events

Bangladesh. UNHCR supports Rohingya refugees living with disabilities in Kutupalong

Live Blog: 2023 Asia-Pacific World Refugee Day Events

20 June 2023

Welcome to the World Refugee Day 2023 Live Blog, where we'll be bringing you stories and events from Asia-Pacific celebrating refugees and the countries and communities that have taken them in.

Every World Refugee Day, 20 June, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, joins millions of others around the world in honoring those who have fled conflict, violence and persecution in search of safety.

Check back here throughout the day for updates on what we're doing in the region



UNHCR Nepal organized a photo exhibition titled “Hope Away From Home – A world where refugees are always included” in Kathmandu from 20-25 June 2023 and launched a book titled "Landmark Decisions of the Supreme Court of Nepal Related to Refugee Protection” to mark World Refugee Day 2023.



To commemorate World Refugee Day, UNHCR hosted a group youth talk session today under the theme of "Hope Away From Home". Kim Min-hyuk, a refugee from Iran, Hwang Seung-hyun, a university student in South Korea, Jun Hai-kyung, UNHCR Korea Representative, and Jung Woo-sung, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, participated as panelists and shared various opinions on the integration of refugees into society.



UNHCR Pakistan

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and the Government of Pakistan marked World Refugee Day by paying tribute to the resilience and courage of people who are displaced due to conflict or persecution across the world. Various events were held in Balochistan, Quetta, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. 



40 landmarks across Japan, including the historic Toji Temple, were illuminated blue in solidarity with refugees across the world. The “Refugee Festival 2023” was also held in Shibuya, Tokyo ahead of World Refugee Day.




UNHCR Hong Kong

UNHCR Hong Kong launched its "City Canvas Project" — reinterpreting the journeys of those forcibly displaced through art. The project linked refugee artists and local artists together, using the walls of the city as their canvases, to tell their stories in six masterpieces. 


UNHCR Iran launched a stunning animation on the real-life story of Sitara*, an Afghan refugee graphic designer. Sitara* herself contributed to this video - with her graphic style and calligraphy front and centre. 

In Kerman, Fars, and Khorasan Razavi provinces, and in Semnan refugee settlement, UNHCR, together with the Bureau for Aliens and Foreign Immigrants’ Affairs (BAFIA) of Iran’s Ministry of Interior, organized colorful refugee-focused events. These events showcased the rich diversity and talent of refugee communities, featuring traditional music and theatre performances, refugee craft bazaars, and drawing competitions.



UNHCR Australia, New Zealand & Pacific

UNHCR Australia, New Zealand & Pacific has shared a special story of courage and resilience. 
In this video, Fatima Yousufi — captain and goalkeeper of Afghanistan Women's National Football TeamLink is external — speaks about her harrowing escape from Kabul, her new life in Melbourne, where the team was adopted by Melbourne VictoryLink is externaland the power of sport to heal, unite and inspire hope.

UNHCR Bangladesh

At the world’s largest refugee camp in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar, various events have been taking place, including performances by Rohingya musicians, a “live art” show and an exhibition of Rohingya photographers’ work. A specially designed tuk tuk also travelled around the camps broadcasting traditional Rohingya music.





UNHCR India launched its 'Refugee Storytellers' campaign in honour of World Refugee Day 2023. The campaign, which will publish seven unique stories, is designed to shed light on the inspiring and diverse narratives of refugees in India, in line with the theme "Hope away from home - a world where refugees are always included". Through the narratives of these refugees, UNHCR India aims to challenge perceptions, break barriers, and celebrate the power of resilience and hope.


UNHCR Philippines

UNHCR launched its first ever Refugee Film Festival in the Philippines, showcasing the stories of people forced to flee through films and documentaries from the country and around the globe. 




UNHCR Thailand

UNHCR Thailand commemorated World Refugee Day with the 12th Refugee Film Festival at EmQuartier, Bangkok. The long-running festival seeks to raise awareness for refugees in both Thailand and across the globe. Furthermore, over 30 tuk-tuks decorated with “Hope Away from Home” banners are circulating across Bangkok throughout June to spread the word about the theme of this year’s World Refugee Day.