WORLD REFUGEE DAY – 20 JUNE
WHOEVER, WHEREVER, WHENEVER
WHOEVER, WHEREVER, WHENEVER
EVERYONE HAS THE
RIGHT TO SEEK SAFETY
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.
Scroll down this page leading up to 20 June 2022 for more information and activities in the Nordic and Baltic Countries.
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 is World Refugee Day?
World Refugee Day is marked across the globe on 20 June every year to celebrate the strength and courage of refugees, create awareness of the plight of people forced to flee, and advocate for refugees’ right to safety.
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.
Scroll down this page or follow us on Twitter as we highlight the activities surrounding #WorldRefugeeDay in the Nordic and Baltic Countries.
UNHCR passed the mic to five young refugee speakers
On World Refugee Day 2022, a group of young refugees shared their personal stories of being forced to flee and starting over in a new country with a fully packed venue in Stockholm. The speakers were participants in the Refugee Speakers Programme, organized by UNHCR and TEDxStockholm to prepare young people with refugee background for sharing their personal stories. Watch the video to see more.
Annual World Refugee Day event at Rukla Reception Center in Jonava, Lithuania
Refugees residing in the centre in Rukla and other parts of Lithuania came together and attended the event. The event was for asylum-seekers, migrants, refugees and invited guests only and included music performances by Viktoras Diawara and Afrodelic, football tournament, children’s activities, and cooking workshops, organized with the support of UNHCR on 20 June.
Exhibition on Nansen’s legacy opened in Oslo on World Refugee Day
Fridtjof Nansen, the first High Commissioner for Refugees, was a pioneer in helping displaced people. On World Refugee Day, an exhibition marking the 100-year anniversary of Nansen being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize opened at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo. The exhibition tells the story of Nansen’s humanitarian work and UNHCR’s Nansen Refugee Award, honouring individuals or organizations that make extraordinary efforts to help forcibly displaced or stateless persons. Read more here.
World Refugee Day 2022
Each year, World Refugee Day is marked by a variety of events in many countries around the globe in support of refugees. Read our World Refugee Day Live Blog to discover some of the activities that took place in 2021.
This year, we also organized a range of activities and events in the Nordic and Baltic Countries. Check out below to see what happened around the region!
🇸🇪 PASS THE MIC: World Refugee Day celebration in Stockholm
On World Refugee Day, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, will be passing the mic to a group of young people with refugee background and impactful stories to share.
Tickets are free but limited due to the capacity at the venue.
Location: Norrsken House, Stockholm
Date: 20 June 2022, 18:00-20:00
🇫🇮 Families Together – the importance of family seen through the eyes of refugee children
What does family mean to you? UNHCR asked refugee children to draw their answers. The results will be on display at Redi Shopping Center in Helsinki.
The objective is to raise awareness about this global challenge, to emphasize the universal importance of family – as seen through the eyes of children – and to highlight how family reunification can help families reunite.
Location: Redi Shopping Center, Hermannin rantatie 5, Helsinki
Date: 13-30 June 2022
🇱🇹 I feel safe - I can create
UNHCR’s partner Artscape in Lithuania hosts a public event to celebrate World Refugee Day with creativity and shared joy. The event offers live music, live performances, and art activities for children. The band UpHill 7, also called “the most international band ever seen”, will perform during.
Location: Downtown Forest Hostel & Camping, Paupio g. 31A, Vilnius
Date: 20 June 2022, 18:00-21:30
🇳🇴 Compassion in action: The Legacy of Fridtjof Nansen
On World Refugee Day 2022, the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo opens an exhibition marking 100 years of Fridtjof Nansen, the first High Commissioner for Refugees, being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Location: Nobel Peace Center, Brynjulf Bulls plass 1, Oslo
Date: 20 June-31 December 2022
🇸🇪 Migration Day at the Swedish Refugee Law Center
UNHCR’s partner, The Swedish Refugee Law Center, invites to “Migration Day” – a day for meetings, discussions and exchange of knowledge on current migration issues. During the day, there will be different seminars with lawyers, professors and officials as well as UNHCR. The event is also a celebration of The Swedish Refugee Law Center’s 30-years anniversary.
Location: ABF Stockholm, Sveavägen 41, Stockholm
Date: 20 June 2022, 14.00
🇪🇪 World Refugee Day(s) with the Estonian Human Rights Center
UNHCR’s partner, Estonian Human Rights Center, co-organizes not one but two movie evenings for World Refugee Day. 20 June begins with a speech by UNHCR and the screening of the critically acclaimed film ‘Raving Iran’ followed by an open debate. The program for 21 June includes a selection of thought-provoking short films.
Location: Sveta Baar, Telliskivi 62, Tallinn
Date: 20 June 2022, 20:00 PM – 21 June 2022, 23:45
🇱🇻 World Refugee Day in Riga
The Latvian NGO Your Friends organizes a charity event to support refugees from Ukraine in Latvia, including a panel discussion on shelters, opening of the documentary photo exhibition “Dreaming to return”, reading of Ukrainian refugee experience stories, and music performances. The event will be broadcasted live on social media with support from UNHCR’s Representation for the Nordic and Baltic Countries.
Location: Ventspils iela 50, Riga
Date: 20 June 2022, 15.00-18.00
🇫🇮 Refugees of the Year 2022 announcement
On World Refugee Day, The Finnish Refugee Council will announce the Refugees of the Year 2022 with opening remarks from UNHCR. The aim of the award is to highlight the different stories and experiences of refugees, support them in their goals and dreams in their new home, and make their voices heard in public discussions about immigration.
Location: Eurooppasali, Malminkatu 16, Helsinki
Date: 20 June 2022, 14:00
🇱🇹 World Refugee Day at Rukla Reception Center
UNHCR and the Red Cross Lithuania will celebrate World Refugee Day together with residents at the refugee reception centre in Rukla. The event is for asylum-seekers, migrants, refugees and invited guests only and includes music performances by Viktoras Diawara and Afrodelic, football tournament, children’s activities, and cooking workshops.
Location: The Refugee Reception Center, Rukla
Date: 20 June 2022, 11:00
June 20 is World Refugee Day. Share your photo with a solidarity ribbon to show that you stand #WithRefugees around the world – whoever they are, wherever they come from, and whenever they are forced to flee. Will you join us?
What does seeking safety mean?
Right to seek asylum
Anyone fleeing persecution, conflict, or human rights abuses has a right to seek protection in another country.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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