Mariama fled Nigeria in 2020 with her family after their village was attacked. "One day, we saw a bunch of thieves coming with motorcycles in our village," she said. "They killed 100 people. We ran into the bush."  They crossed into Niger where they sought refuge in the village of Sabonkaba. UNHCR relocated them to Chadakori "village of opportunity" near Maradi, where Nigerian refugees are being moved to ensure their safety and ease pressure on border communities. "I still have relatives in our village and we don't have news from them," she said.
© UNHCR/Colin Delfosse

World Refugee Day in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific

Everyone has the right to seek safety

 

 

World Refugee Day 2022

Each year on June 20, the world celebrates World Refugee Day. This year, the focus will be on the right to seek safety.

Every person on this planet has a right to seek safety – whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they are forced to flee.

Watch this page leading up to 20 June 2022 for more information and activities.

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.

Whoever they are, people forced to flee should be treated with dignity. Anyone can seek protection, regardless of who they are or what they believe. It is non-negotiable: seeking safety is a human right.

Wherever they come from, people forced to flee should be welcomed. Refugees come from all over the globe. To get out of harm’s way, they might take a plane, a boat, or travel on foot. What remains universal is the right to seek safety.

Whenever people are forced to flee, they have a right to be protected. Whatever the threat – war, violence, persecution – everyone deserves protection. Everyone has a right to be safe

What does seeking safety mean?

1. Right to seek asylum
Anyone fleeing persecution, conflict, or human rights abuses has a right to seek protection in another country.

2. Safe access
Borders should remain open to all people forced to flee. Restricting access and closing borders can make the journey even more dangerous for people seeking safety.

3. No pushbacks
People can’t be forced to return to a country if their life or freedom would be at risk. This means that countries shouldn’t push anyone back without first evaluating the dangers they would face back home.

4. No discrimination
People should not be discriminated against at borders. All applications for refugee status must be given fair consideration, regardless of factors like race, religion, gender and country of origin.

5. Humane treatment
People forced to flee should be treated with respect and dignity. They are entitled to safe and dignified treatment like any human being. Among other things, this means keeping families together, protecting people from traffickers, and avoiding arbitrary detention.