World Refugee Day is observed globally every year on 20 June. The United Nations has designated this special day to honour refugees around the globe. The day celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to leave their home country to escape conflict, terror or persecution.
According to the United Nations Refugee Convention 1951, a refugee is someone who fled his or her home country because of a "well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her religion, race, nationality, membership in a particular community or political opinion." World Refugee Day is meant to build affinity and understanding for their problems and to help them rebuild their lives.
History of World Refugee Day:
World Refugee Day first came into existence on 20 June in the year 2001, on the 50th anniversary of the 1951 UN Refugee Convention regarding the Status of Refugees. The day was previously known as Africa Refugee Day. In December 2000, the United Nations officially designated the day as ‘World Refugee Day.’
World Refugee Day 2022 Theme:
This year, the theme for World Refugee Day focuses on the right to seek safety. The theme is ‘Whoever, Whatever, Whenever. Everyone has the right to seek safety.’ It means that every refugee should be welcomed and treated with dignity regardless of their birthplace, origin, race or religion.
Five facts about refugees around the world:
- 83 percent of refugees have taken shelter in developing countries. Over 40 percent of global refugees are children.
- Over two-thirds of the total number of the world’s refugees have fled from just five countries- Syria, Venezuela, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Myanmar.
- About 72 percent of refugees relocate to neighbouring countries. As per statistics by the United Nations, Turkey hosts the maximum number, with 3.6 million refugees while Columbia is in the second position with 1.8 million refugees.
- More than 6 million refugees live in camps which offer immediate protection and assistance to people who were forced to flee their homes due to persecution, war or violence. One of the world’s largest refugee camp is at Dadaab in Kenya where more than 329,000 people are housed.