Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

World Refugee Day in Ireland

Three young people look past piles of books.
Date: 18 - 25 June 2023

World Refugee Day in Ireland

Public event

Young Ukrainian refugee Yeva Skalietska reads her book to students from Our Lady’s Grove Primary School in Goatstown. Yeva published her book ‘You Don’t Know What War Is’ with Bloomsbury about how her life changed overnight. She talked to sixth class students about fleeing Ukraine, what it is like to write a book, and the simple things Irish people have done to make her feel at home.

World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on 20 June and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. 

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.

This year, UNHCR Ireland are taking part in the first ever Irish Refugee week taking place from the 19-25 June. Refugee week is a festival where we celebrate compassion and connection, and everyone is welcome.

Learn more about Refugee Week Ireland, and check out the events happening all over Ireland. 

Get involved through simple acts like watching a film, reading a book or having a conversation. Reach out and make a connection in person or online. For more ideas on the simple way to make a difference, click here.

There are lots of great organisations all over Ireland who you can get involved with beyond Refugee Week. The Sanctuary Runners have running clubs all over the country. Sports Against Racism Ireland are holding the Unity Cup football tournament in Dublin’s North East Inner City in June and July. Volunteer for the tournament or learn more about how the festival brings communities together.

Join your nearest Places of Sanctuary group or encourage your school to become a school of sanctuary. Join Amnesty International’s I Welcome Refugees Network or ask your local volunteer centre or an NGO based in your area for about opportunities to help out. Volunteer with Failte Isteach, the Irish Red Cross or join another organisation that supports and welcomes refugees. For those who can, consider hosting a refugee in your home (via the Irish Red Cross Register or Pledges or Helping Irish Hosts), or getting involved in a community sponsorship group to support a refugee family to move to Ireland.


Refugee Week Ireland is coordinated through a steering committee. Members include UNHCR Ireland, Irish Refugee Council, Irish Red Cross, Doras, Nasc, Jesuit Refugee Service and the Ukraine Response Forum. Thank you to our partners, Children’s Books Ireland, Schools of Sanctuary and Street Feast.