Live Blog: World Refugee Day events span the globe as displacement hits record
From Asia to the Americas, UNHCR is leading celebrations of the spirit and courage of women, men and children uprooted from their homes.
Rohingya refugee Kaisara, 11, takes part in a painting class in Bangladesh ahead of World Refugee Day.
© UNHCR/Patrick Brown
From breakdancing to concerts, football to food festivals, millions of people around the world are taking part in events marking World Refugee Day, celebrating the strength and resilience of people forced to flee their homes and seek safety elsewhere.
The event, which falls each year on June 20, gives the public worldwide an opportunity to show their support for women, men and children displaced by conflict, violence and persecution in record numbers in 2017.
Many are also showing they stand #WithRefugees by signing UNHCR’s petition. Check back here throughout the day for updates.
Representatives from USA for UNHCR took part in the pre-game programme and ceremony before the Washington Nationals baseball game at Nationals Park.
Toronto's landmark CN Tower and its 3-D city name sign in Nathan Phillips Square were illuminated in blue in honour of World Refugee Day.
🇨🇦 The city of Toronto is standing in solidarity #WithRefugees— UNHCR Canada (@UNHCRCanada) 20 June 2018
The @TourCNTower and the #Toronto sign will both be lit blue tonight for #WorldRefugeeDay
Thank you for honouring the millions of children, women and men we are proud to support and protect every day of the year. pic.twitter.com/71ZFedQAsF
A mural outside the Colombian city of Cúcuta greets Venezuelans fleeing across the border.
UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi talks about current world climate for refugees on World Refugee Day.
How can we counter xenophobic narratives to help refugees?
How can we counter xenophobic narratives to help refugees?— UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) June 20, 2018
UN @RefugeesChief Filippo Grandi + @MelissarFleming discuss a more powerful narrative - one of solidarity, respect and generosity. #WithRefugees #WorldRefugeeDay pic.twitter.com/Nl3vLIRKlu
Marawi City, Philippines
A distribution of relief items supplied by the UNIQLO clothing chain on June 20 to commemorate World Refugee Day in Marawi City, in the Philippines.
Anyake settlement, Nigeria
UNHCR staff, refugees and the local community have been busy planting trees at two schools in Presevo, Serbia, to show their support.
On the ocassion of #WorldRefugeeDay, we’ve planted trees at Serbian primary school “Vuk Karadzic” & Albanian secondary school “Skenderbeg” in Presevo, #Serbia, together with @KIRS_SRBIJA, #refugees & local community pic.twitter.com/ognVn8QH6J— UNHCR Serbia (@UNHCRSerbia) June 20, 2018
Women from Central Africa perform a play about the issues they face as refugees in Mauritania, a country that is host to more than 2,000 urban refugees and asylum-seekers – mostly from Syria, Central Africa and Ivory Coast – in addition to more than 56,000 refugees from Mali who live in Mbera camp near the Malian border.
UNHCR staff and Afghan musician Khalid Arman gathered to show their support for refugees.
This #WorldRefugeeDay2018, at @Refugees HQ, we had the opportunity to enjoy a music performance by Afghan musician Khalid Arman accompanied by Sylviane Fournier. 🎼 #WithRefugees pic.twitter.com/OLlXyeMyW1— Ariadna Berrocal (@arisberris) June 20, 2018
Juba, South Sudan
UNHCR staff, refugees and their South Sudanese hosts sway to live music at a party to mark World Refugee Day in Juba, South Sudan.
Panama City, Panama
Salvadoran refugee chef Maribel Martinez serves diners at the Azafran restaurant in Panama City, as the Refugee Food Festival gets under way in the Central American nation's capital.
Anyake settlement, Nigeria
Love conquers all in this settlement in Nigeria where a cast of Cameroonian refugees put on a play about warring tribes that reconcile when two young people fall in love.
Afghan refugees are taking part in a basketball masterclass with BC Khimki, as part of events in Moscow.
UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi travelled overnight from Libya to Niger with 122 refugees released from detention centres in Tripoli. "Many rich countries are closing their doors to refugees. Niger shares with them its very few resources," he said. "I am humbled to spend World Refugee Day with the people and leaders of this generous African nation."
Delicious Syrian man’oushe (flat bread) is being served up in Ireland.
New York, USA
Actor and UNHCR Supporter Ben Stiller teamed up with writer and former Iraqi refugee Ahmed Badr in New York, to cook up an at-home version of chicken shawarma.
Do you ever crave a specific dish from your hometown? Follow Ahmed Badr and Ben Stiller as they recreate Ahmed’s favorite childhood dish: chicken shawarma #WithRefugees @Refugees @RedHourBen @uBadr pic.twitter.com/uZ5gHWz5lY— Tasty (@tasty) June 20, 2018
In a country where four years of conflict have forced more than 1.5 million people from their homes, Clowns Without Borders are bringing smiles to the faces of refugee and displaced children.
🇺🇦#WorldRefugeeDay in Ukraine— UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) June 20, 2018
A smile can break down borders + help people of different countries connect.
Clowns without Borders put on a special show for refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced, stateless persons, local children and children with disabilities. pic.twitter.com/sdD0nHki7M
Refugees from Syria and Iraq are sharing their wishes of peace and stability for their home countries.
The Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, is among scores of city managers worldwide who launched a Cities #WithRefugees initiative, urging municipalities to join them in welcoming and including refugees in their communities.
Today is World Refugee Day. I have joined Mayors of over 100 cities around the world in signing on to the UNHCR @RefugeesMedia statement in solidarity with the tens of millions of refugees & asylum seekers seeking new lives for themselves across the world https://t.co/ISQSeMK8Sf— Clover Moore (@CloverMoore) June 19, 2018
Pope Francis stands in solidarity #WithRefugees.
Visitors, young and old, to the Maritime Museum in Tallinn are paying tribute to the many Estonians who were forced to flee on fishing boats during the Second World War.
How will you escape? What will you take with you? Whom will take you across the sea?— UNHCR NorthernEurope (@UNHCR_NE) June 20, 2018
Estonians mark the #WorldRefugeeDay in Tallinn, in Maritime Museum's WWII roleplay, remembering year 1944 when many Estonians had to flee.
Join Refugee Day in Tallinn: https://t.co/JehxgqxVt5 pic.twitter.com/P2jdqDU2hc
Celebrations in Nepal included colorful dances and songs from Bhutanese refugee women.
Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
Rohingya refugee children have been busy drawing their hopes and dreams on a tent in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The tent is on display at the city’s Cultural Centre.
On #WorldRefugeeDay Rohingya refugee children with help from @ArtolutionOrg drew their hopes and dreams on a tent exhibited now at the cultural centre in Cox’s Bazar.— UNHCR in Bangladesh (@UNHCR_BGD) June 20, 2018
We stand #WithRefugees pic.twitter.com/RalM6LZ5Xz
Refugees in Delhi are enjoying free yoga lessons thanks to volunteer instructor Nandini Jayaprasad.
Mtendeli camp, Tanzania
Drumbeats and dance steps get celebrations under way at Mtendeli camp in Tanzania, which hosts thousands of refugees from neighbouring Burundi.
An Alsatian restaurant serves traditional "tarte flambée" with an Iraqi twist, as the Refugee Food Festival gets going in Strasbourg.
For #Worldrefugeeday, la Fignette, a typical Alsacian restaurant re-invented the traditional « tarte flambée » with flavours from Iraq during the @RefugeeFoodFest & and it was a success 😋 #WithRefugees pic.twitter.com/f7wuChcrF7— Céline Schmitt (@Ce_Schmitt) June 20, 2018
Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
A UNHCR staff member gets her hands daubed in the agency's colours at an art workshop for young Rohingya refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The artworks are being exhibited at the city's Cultural Centre. More than 700,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar last August.
Using their talents with needle and thread, women refugees from Yemeni starting over in Djibouti make wallets and clutches decorated with the UNHCR logo.
.#Yemeni women #refugees at the #Markazi settlement in #Obock, #Djibouti are amazingly talented and incredibly enterprising! These wallets and clutches were handmade by them with big thanks to the livelihoods training of @LWF_Ke! #withrefugees #wrd2018 pic.twitter.com/wWkCxmMI64— UNHCR Djibouti (@UNHCRDjibouti) June 18, 2018
The historic Ghantaghar clock tower in the Nepalese capital, Kathmandu, is illuminated in UNHCR colours to celebrate the lives of refugees.
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Enterprising refugees sold handmade clothes, jewellery, art and food at a market in downtown Kinshasa. The market was organized by UNHCR to help the refugees find new customers and, of course, make friends in the country, which hosts more than 540,000 refugees from Burundi, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.
A photo exhibition brought the lives of Rohingya refugees into sharp focus in the U.S. Congress. The exhibit captures the precarious situation of some of the 700,000 women, men and children who have fled to neighbouring Bangladesh since violence erupted in Myanmar last August.
Hundreds of supporters of Australia for UNHCR got together for a World Refugee Day breakfast, standing with miillions of people uprooted from their homes worldwide.
Thank you for standing in solidarity at our #WorldRefugeeDay breakfast in Sydney! Corporate leaders, high profile supporters, refugees and advocates, all marking the courage of people forced to flee conflict, and celebrating their contribution to our community. #WithRefugees pic.twitter.com/b316XxgPmK— Australia for UNHCR (@UNrefugees) June 20, 2018
Rappers Seeds of Freedom kicked off celebrations over the weekend with a concert in Bucharest. The band is made up of Romanians and refugees in their teens whose music and poetry bridges the two communities.
Refugee breakdancers practise their moves ahead of a World Refugee Day show in Uganda. There are 1.4 million refugees in Uganda, of whom more than 1 million have entered the country in the past 18 months.
Hit it to the Beat— Duniya Aslam Khan (@DuniyaAKhan) June 12, 2018
These self-taught dancers of the Holy Dance group are refugees @Refugees from DRC, South Sudan & Burundi in Uganda.
Rehearsing for the #WorldRefugeeDay commemoration.
Group master Pascal welcomes everyone to his group who loves & appreciate dancing. pic.twitter.com/XBSIHS0EIc
Domiz refugee camp, northern Iraq
On 18 June, UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visited Domiz refugee camp in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, where she met with Syrian families and listened to their stories of flight and exile. In this photo she speaks with Syrian children who are growing up in the camp.