World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day - 20 June








People who have been forced to flee often struggle to find a doctor when they are sick. Far from home, they struggle to find schools for their children or even a place for them to run around and play.

We work together with refugees every day to help them access these services and build better futures – and we need your help to achieve this!

If you have questions or would like to tell us about your plans for World Refugee Day, please contact [email protected]. View the World Refugee Day toolkit here.

2021 World Refugee Day theme: Together we heal, learn and shine

Together we heal

Help expand refugees’ access to primary and secondary health care, sexual and reproductive health, nutrition and mental health services.

Access to health care and medical support saves lives. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, works together with partners and host communities to make sure that people forced to flee their homes receive the care they need.

Make a donation

Together we learn

Transform the lives of seven talented young refugees by donating towards their university scholarships.

Education helps people forced to flee build better futures. We are working together with partners to provide refugee children access to quality education so they can pursue better lives.

Help fund a scholarship

Together we shine

Support refugees by unfolding your creative side! Send us your illustration and enter the #dreamball design contest.

Sport can enrich the lives of people forced to flee their homes. It can boost mental health and help refugees gain confidence, forge new friendships and feel welcome. In our work to protect refugees, we use sport to create safe and protective environments where everyone can discover their potential.

Enter the dreamball design contest

World Refugee Day in Thailand

Congratualtions to Mr. Patcharawut Jongcharoenwattana, the winner of 10th Refugee Film Festival Poster Competition and other 4 finalists whose works are selected in to the final round.

Your talent and creativity have helped UNHCR to share the message that “Together we can achieve anything.” Through inclusion of and solidarity with people forced to flee their homes, together we can heal, learn and shine.

You will experience all poster artwork submitted by Thai people from all over the country in a relaxing atmosphere with Chaophraya River set as a background on Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 June 2021, 2nd floor, Tha Maharaj.

Refugee Film Festival

UNHCR with U.S. Embassy Bangkok, British Embassy Bangkok, Chao Phraya Express Boat and Tha Maharaj will commemorate this year’s World Refugee Day (20 June) with its “10th Refugee Film Festival” and creative workshops. For the first time ever, you will experience our first movie night, a World Refugee Day Boat and poster artwork submitted by Thai people from all over the country in a relaxing atmosphere with Chaophraya River set as a background on Saturday 19 – Sunday 20 June 2021, 13.00 – 21.00 hrs. at Tha Maharaj.


When he was only eight, Guor Mading Maker ran from captivity in war-torn Sudan to eventually seek safety in the US. In his new life, Maker began running again and eventually becoming a sensation and qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. His story is a distinctly inspirational one in which the indomitable human spirit emerges against all odds.


Watch trailer


A British film based on a remarkable book and true story, with a special permission from Netflix to screen to the public to inspire audiences with a story of 13-year-old inventor, William Kamkwamba, who embarks on a daring plan to build a wind turbine with his curiosity and determination from science textbooks to save and better the lives of his Malawian village from famine. The feature film also won Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the Sundance Film Festival 2019.

Watch trailer


You are invited to join creative soap making and football painting workshops, with items produced to be distributed to the refugees in Thailand as part of COVID-19 prevention efforts and to support them to practice sports. Net proceeds from the event will be donated to UNHCR to support refugee families fleeing war, persecution and conflict around the world.

Remark: Each activity is limited to the first 20 pre-registered persons. Workshop activities cost THB 100 per person.

Register now

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 June 20 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.

Why is World Refugee Day important?

World Refugee Day shines a light on the rights, needs and dreams of refugees, helping to mobilize political will and resources so refugees can not only survive but also thrive. While it is important to protect and improve the lives of refugees every single day, international days like World Refugee Day help to focus global attention on the plight of those fleeing conflict or persecution. Many activities held on World Refugee Day create opportunities to support refugees.

When is World Refugee Day? When did World Refugee Day start?

World Refugee Day falls each year on June 20 and is dedicated to refugees around the globe. World Refugee Day was held globally for the first time on June 20, 2001, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. It was originally known as Africa Refugee Day, before the United Nations General Assembly officially designated it as an international day in December 2000.

What happens on World Refugee Day?

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.