World Refugee Day

6 minute read
World Refugee Day

Do you know that every minute, 20 people lose their country to avoid war or terror? World Refugee Day is a day that we will show our respect for and honor the resilience and determination of millions of refugees around the world. It creates a chance to raise awareness of the plight of refugees around the world and how to protect their human languages. On 20th June, we celebrate World Refugee Day to honor the courage, strength, and determination of such people.

VOA News

What is World Refugee Day?

World Refugee Day is an international day observed annually on June 20th by the United Nations. It is intended to remember and honor refugees from all over the world. The day was first observed on June 20, 2001, to recognize the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. World Refugee Day is an opportunity to promote empathy and understanding for their plight, as well as to recognize their courage in restoring their lives.

“To be called a refugee is the opposite of an insult; it is a badge of strength, courage, and victory.”

– Tennessee Office for Refugees

The Aim Of World Refugee Day

A large-scale refugee crisis is tough to manage, but UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres reminds us that “the problems are violence and hatred, not individuals fleeing.” The goal of World Refugee Day is to raise awareness of the problem and demonstrate to refugees that by working together, we can resolve the crisis and assist displaced people in finding secure and happy homes.

What happens on World Refugee Day?

On June 20th, many nations will host a variety of activities. Many well-known sites, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York are illuminated with blue lights, the United Nations’ official color. To show the world that Scotland welcomes immigrants,’ people in Glasgow, Scotland, join hands to create a massive human chain encircling George Square in the city center. Film screenings, exhibitions, and numerous fundraising activities are held in a variety of locations.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency

World Refugee Day Background

Many nations and areas have been organizing celebrations similar to World Refugee Day for years. Africa Refugee Day, which is observed on June 20 in numerous nations, is one of the most widely observed occasions. On December 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution expressing solidarity with Africa.

The resolution highlighted that the 1951 Convention about the Status of Refugees was 50 years old in 2001 and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) decided to make International Refugee Day on June 20 coincide with Africa Refugee Day. As a result, the Assembly agreed that starting in 2001, June 20 will be observed as World Refugee Day. This day was designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to call attention to the predicament of about 14 million refugees throughout the world.

Facts You Need To Know For World Refugee Day

  • According to the UNHCR, there are 65.3 million individuals worldwide who have been forcefully displaced.
  • Daily, 42,500 individuals escape their homes in search of safety within their own country’s or other nations’ borders.
  • Syria’s civil conflict has resulted in one of the world’s biggest humanitarian disasters.
  • Developing countries house 86 percent of the world’s refugees.
  • Dadaab, Kenya, is home to more than 329,000 people and is the world’s biggest refugee camp.
  • 51% of the world’s 20 million refugees are under the age of 18.
  • At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the first-ever Refugee Team competed.

World Refugee Day 2022

The United States of America for UNHCR believes in the power of refugee voices, and as we celebrate inclusiveness, we reaffirm our commitment to elevating those voices as they share their own experiences in their unique ways. Our Voices recognized refugee tales for World Refugee Day 2021, putting refugees at the heart of all World Refugee Day festivities. Use the hashtag #refugeevoices to join the celebration by sharing and amplifying refugee voices on World Refugee Day.

1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol

Refugees, according to its rules, are entitled to the same treatment as other foreign nationals in a given country, and in many situations, the same treatment as nationals. The 1951 Convention establishes a variety of rights for refugees and emphasizes their responsibilities to their host country.

The 1951 Convention establishes the following rights:

  • The right not to be expelled unless and until particular, clearly specified circumstances are met.
  • The right not to be penalized for illegally entering a contracting State’s territory.
  • The right to housing
  • The right to education
  • The right to work
  • The right to freedom of movement within the territory
  • The right to public relief and assistance
  • The right to access the courts
  • The right to freedom of religion
  • The right to be issued identity and travel documents

All refugees have certain basic rights, including the right to be shielded from deportation. The longer a refugee stays in the host country, the more rights they are entitled to, based on the fact that the longer they stay as refugees, the more rights they require.

Credit: United Nations

Why is World Refugee Day Important?

World Refugee Day sheds a light on refugees’ rights, needs, and hopes, aiding in mobilizing political will and support so that refugees will not only flourish but grow. Although it is critical to protect and strengthen the lives of refugees daily, international days such as World Refugee Day serve to draw public attention to the plight of those fleeing wars or persecution.

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

  • Together we heal: Contribute to increasing refugee access to primary and secondary health care, sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, and mental health programs.
  • Together we learn: Donate to the university scholarships of seven promising young immigrants and change their lives.
  • Together we shine: Help refugees by letting the artistic side shine! 

“Refugees are not terrorists. They are often the first victims of terrorism.”

– António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres

How is World Refugee Day Celebrated?

Every year, World Refugee Day is celebrated with a series of activities in many countries around the world in honor of refugees. These events are led or participated in by immigrants, government officials, host groups, businesses, actors, schoolchildren, and members of the general public, among others.

“No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.”

– Warsan Shire

How Can You Contribute to World Refugee Day?

Now that we have learned about the World Refugee Day, let’s learn how we can contribute to the World Refugee Day:

  1. Lend a hand, be their friend!
    Reach out to refugees in your community. Consider welcoming them to dinner or spending a couple of nights in your guest room if they are in search of a place to rest. Introduce them to the local community so they can get to know their new surroundings more easily. Simply becoming a friend can have a significant positive effect on someone’s life, and working as a group guide can be extremely beneficial.
  1. By attending a United Nations event
    On World Refugee Day, the UN plans to hold live digital events to address the global refugee crisis, possible priorities related to the issue, and how to make a difference. Keep an eye out for summaries of the events’ activities, to see how you can attend for yourself.
  1. Use your Resources
    Your technical experience can be used to help people. Volunteer your professional skills to local refugee organizations. Last year, the UN said that it hoped that sometime soon, every refugee will have access to an education, a secure place to live, and opportunities to work and contribute to their communities. If you own a company or are a recruiting officer, you should think about hiring local refugees who are looking for jobs.

Also, Read

We hope we could deliver the significance of World Refugee Day. This 20th June, make a difference by helping refugees virtually; they need your support! For more such educational content and amazing quizzes, stay connected with Leverage Edu.

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