World Refugee Day

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World Refugee Day, international observance observed June 20 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

World Refugee Day Poster


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.[1] It is commemorated to honor all refugees, raise awareness and solicit support.[2]

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.[1]

In the Roman Catholic Church, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated in January each year, having been instituted in 1914 by Pope Pius X.

Graph showing the growth in the total number of UNCHR Persons of Concern


Each year on June 20 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.

The UNHCR puts out messages on each World Refugee Day:

UNHCR designates theme for each World Refugee Day campaign.[2]

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.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b United Nations General Assembly Session 55 Resolution 76. A/RES/55/76 4 December 2000. Retrieved 2008-09-04.
  2. ^ a b "World Refugee Day 2019 – History, Themes and Quotes". The earthreminder. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  3. ^ Participate in World Refugee Day in the United States Archived December 30, 2012, at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]