World Refugee Day
On 4 December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001, 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day. In this resolution, the General Assembly noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
African Refugee Day had been formally celebrated in several countries prior to 2000. The UN noted that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.
Each year on June 20th the United Nations, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and countless civic groups around the world host World Refugee Day events in order to draw the public's attention to the millions of refugees and Internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.
The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in more than 100 countries, involving government officials, humanitarian aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves.
Each year, UNHCR announces a theme for its World Refugee Day campaign. Recent themes include:
- 2012: 1 family torn apart by war is too many
- 2010: 1 refugee forced to flee is too many
- 2009: Home
- 2008: Protection
Individuals and community groups are encouraged to mark the day by attending a local World Refugee Day event, watching and sharing World Refugee Day videos, and raising awareness for refugees on social media.
- United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Resolution 76. A/RES/55/76 4 December 2000. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
- Participate in World Refugee Day in the United States
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