World Refugee Day in Ireland

Conflict and persecution have forced more than 100 million people around the world to flee their homes.

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.

World Refugee Day 2022

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.

You can find and download our World Refugee Day core messaging document here.

Sanctuary Run 2022

Date: 19 June

Taking place at the Sport Ireland Campus, Dublin 15. A Free 5Krun celebrating diversity and inclusion in Ireland on the eve of 'World Refugee Day' 'hosted by the Sanctuary Runners

Attend event

Depositions Book Launch

Date: 20 June

As part of World Refugee Day, Doire Press and UNHCR Ireland are happy to invite you to the book launch of 'Depositions', new poems by Anton Floyd. The collection deals with the themes of conflict and forced migration, exile and refugeehood. Selections from the poems have been translated into 20 languages.

Attend event

A Conversation with Rehan Ali and Marwa Zamir

Date: 20 June

To mark World Refugee Day 2022, MU English's Andrew Clarke and Rita Sakr will be hosting a conversation with Rehan Ali and Marwa Zamir. This webinar will be held on Zoom - register below to attend.

Attend event

Book Launch: From Afghanistan to Ireland 

Date: 15 June, 5pm

The launch of Nasruddin Saljuqi's latest book, titled: From Afghanistan to Ireland will be held in the Irish Writers Centre in 19 Parnell Square, Dublin 1. Signed copies will be made available for purchase on the evening. During the launch there will be speeches from the book's editor Aoife McGrane, Dr. James Carr, Aoife Harte from UNHCR and NCP's CEO Cherif Labreche.

Dignity Partnership (DiP) Visibility Awards

Date: 25 June

Dignity Partnership (DiP) is a work integration social enterprise that promotes personal and enterprise development for people from refugee and asylum seeking backgrounds.

DiP Visibility Awards will be held on 25th June to mark world refugee day which is marked every year on June 20. World Refugee Day honors the strength and courage of refugees and encourages public awareness and support of the refugees.

Attend event

Healing: A Photographic Exhibition

Date: 19 June

To mark World Refugee Week in June, you are cordially invited to the launch of 'Healing: A Photographic Exhibition' on Sunday, 19 June 2022 at 12 noon in the Parish Hall, St Mary's Church, Church Road, Carrigaline, Co. Cork, P43 YA21. Tea and Coffee will be served.

Kindly RSVP at [email protected]

Ombudsman for Children's Office Direct Division Film Screening

Date: 20 June

To Mark World Refugee Day, the NUI Galway University of Sanctuary Steering Committee will collaborate with the Ombudsman for Children's Office (OCO) to screen the OCO's documentary entitled 'Direct Division Film', a documentary account of children's experiences of living in Direct Provision in Ireland.

Attend event

The Wanderer

Date: 20 June

An uplifting and exciting new dance opera with music by Tom Lane, libretto by Jessica Traynor, choreography by John Scott with a brilliant multicultural cast of opera singers and dancers and visual projections by the award-winning US dance filmmaker, Jason Akira Somma. Taking inspiration from stories of wandering and migration, the cast includes soprano Mairead Buicke, baritone Brendan Collins and tenor Fearghal Curtis. Performed on World Refugee Day, The Wanderer promises to be a unique performance event.

Attend Event

Stars From Women

Date: 18 - 25 June

To mark the beginning of Refugee Week, the Irish Refugee Council Offices will host an exhibition of stars woven with personalised messages by mult-cultural women as part of the One Million Stars Ireland project. Each star represents light, hope and solidarity against domestic, sexual and gender based violence.


Exhibition opening:

Sat June 18th 2-5pm

Mon June 20th- Fri 25th 10am-4pm

The Refugee Council Offices, 37 Killarney Street Dublin.

Greece. Refugees and migrants arrive in Lesvos.

Football for Unity 2022

Click here to find out more about the Football for Unity festival which is running across Dublin this summer. 

Greece. Refugees and migrants arrive in Lesvos.

2022 Book Reading Campaign

Find more information on our book reading campaign 2022 here.


“Throughout this challenging time, we have…seen a connectedness that transcends borders. Ordinary people have stepped up to help. Host communities…have continued to demonstrate a remarkable welcome.”

–Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees