World Refugee Day

What is World Refugee Day?

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.

World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

Watch this page leading up to 20 June for more information and activities for World Refugee Day 2023.

What is the theme of World Refugee Day?

This year, World Refugee Day focuses on the power of inclusion and solutions for refugees. Our tagline is:

“Hope away from Home. A world where refugees are always included.”

Including refugees in the communities where they have found safety after fleeing conflict and persecution is the most effective way to support them in restarting their lives and enable them to contribute to the countries hosting them. It’s also the best way to prepare them to return home and rebuild their countries, when conditions allow them to do so safely and voluntarily, or to thrive if they are resettled to another country.

What can you do?


Donate to support people forced to flee to rebuild their lives.

Donate Now


Like every year, UNHCR arranged a poster competition for the Refugee Film Festival.
This year, we received over 50 designs. Based on online vote and the jury’s review.

View all artworks


Join us on social media to amplify our content on World Refugee Day.
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the 12th Refugee Film Festival

16-20 June 2023 Quartier CineArt 3, the EmQuartier

The Swimmers

Sisters Yusra and Sarah Mardini fled their home country of Syria in 2015 when their house was destroyed during the civil war. They journeyed to Lebanon and then onto Turkey where they arranged to be smuggled into Greece on a dinghy. However, the refugees were in the middle of the Aegean Sea when the engine of the overcrowded dinghy cut out and the pair, plus two others who could swim, were responsible for saving the lives of those on board. Just a year after their harrowing experience Yusra competed in two swimming events at the Rio Olympics as part of the Refugee Olympic team.

Watch the trailer

A Girl from Mogadishu

A Girl from Mogadishu is a true story inspired by the life and work of Irish activist Ifrah Ahmed.

The film follows Ifrah from childhood in a refugee camp in Somalia where she was born and subjected to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to Ireland where she is trafficked a teenager and is eventually given political asylum. She then goes on to become one of the world’s foremost international activists against gender-based violence.

Watch the trailer

Simple as Water

Simple As Water explores the impact of war, separation, and displacement, the film takes audiences into Syrian families’ quests for normalcy and building a new life. Filmed over the course of five years in five countries including Turkey, Greece, Germany, Syria and the US, Simple As Water highlights the universal importance of family.

Watch the trailer

The Story Won’t Die

From Award-winning filmmaker David Henry Gerson and Academy Award winning producer Odessa Rae, the story is an inspiring, timely look at a young generation of Syrian artists who use their work to protest and process what is currently the world’s largest and longest ongoing displacement of people since World War II.

Watch the trailer

Unsettled: Seeking Refuge in America

A feature-length documentary revealing the untold stories of LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers who have fled intense persecution from their home countries and who are resettling in the U.S. The film follows four new arrivals, each of whom have escaped potential peril in their native countries for being different. They’ve landed in the purported “gay mecca” of San Francisco, yet even there, building a new life in an adopted nation is a precarious undertaking.

Watch the trailer