MIYAVI was appointed as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in November 2017.
He is a Japanese musician, actor and philanthropist who has gained international recognition and acclaim for his unique guitar style, using his fingers instead of a pick to create an elaborate sound both musically and rhythmically.
In 2015 MIYAVI undertook his first visit to learn about UNHCR's frontline work, travelling to Lebanon and performing his song “The Others” with refugees he met there. The music video was released in 2016 - directed and produced by UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie and MIYAVI - featuring refugees from around the globe. MIYAVI visited Lebanon again in 2016 to learn more about refugees' experiences, as well as Thailand in 2017 to meet Karen refugees from Myanmar.
In early 2018 MIYAVI visited some of the 688,000 Rohingya refugees that had recently arrived in Bangladesh - fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state - and heard their stories of desperation, hope, and the desire to safely return home. He later reflected on his experiences in conversation with UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie.MIYAVI has used his talent, voice and platform to help support various UNHCR campaigns, including #WithRefugees and the Nansen Refugee Award 2017. His ongoing promotion of UNHCR’s global work on his social media channels has helped raise awareness of the refugee cause with a much wider audience. He has been particularly vocal on the need for refugee children to receive quality education.
In June 2019 MIYAVI returned to Cox's Bazaar refugee camp to see the progress that had been made since his last visit. MIYAVI expressed his appreciation to Bangladesh's host community and pledged to “continue deepening my knowledge on refugee causes, finding my way to contribute to the causes and spreading the word”.
MIYAVI also visited Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya with UNHCR in March 2019 and in January 2020 he travelled to Columbia to learn more about the Central American migrant crisis. MIYAVI continues to use his platform to spread awareness of refugee issues and the work of UNHCR.