The United Nations’ (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honours the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
In a world where violence forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day, the time is now to show that the global public stands with refugees.
To do this, the UN Refugee Agency launched the #WithRefugees petition in June 2016 to send a message to governments that they must work together and do their fair share for refugees.
“On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20th, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees. This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee,” a UN statement reads.
Many countries and regions have been holding their own events similar to World Refugee Day. One of the most widespread events is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on June 20 in many countries. UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to express its solidarity with Africa on December 4, 2000. The resolution noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, and that the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on June 20. The Assembly therefore decided that June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards.
This day was designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to bring attention to the plight of approximately 14 million refugees around the world.
Author: Gesture Chidhanguro