World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day Quick Facts - IN

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2024 Date20 June 2024
2025 Date20 June 2025

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day in

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World Refugee Day History

World Refugee Day is an annual observance that aims to raise awareness and garner support for the plight of refugees, displaced persons, and asylum-seekers around the globe. It serves as a platform to highlight their incredible courage and resilience in the face of adversity while also focusing on the efforts of governmental and non-governmental organizations that work tirelessly to provide urgent humanitarian assistance. The observance underscores the importance of solidarity, empathy, and shared responsibility towards the well-being and protection of the forcibly displaced living among us.

The inception of World Refugee Day can be traced back to the year 2000, when the United Nations General Assembly officially designated this day to pay tribute to the undaunted spirit of millions of refugees worldwide. For India, with its long history of providing refuge to diverse groups of displaced people such as the Tibetans, Afghans, Rohingyas, and the Sri Lankan Tamils, this observance brings forth the opportunity to reflect upon its humanitarian commitments and showcase the vibrant cultural contributions made by these communities to the Indian society.

In India, several customs and activities mark the observance of World Refugee Day. From workshops and panel discussions to cultural performances and sports events, various organizations and individuals come together to celebrate the indomitable spirit of refugees and offer a glimpse into their unique heritage. Educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and refugee community groups often collaborate to organize these events with the goal of fostering understanding and appreciation among the Indian populace. World Refugee Day serves as a reminder for the Indian society to uphold its hospitable culture, and extend support to those who have lost their homes and are rebuilding their lives in a foreign land. World Refugee Day is observed on June 20th annually.

World Refugee Day facts

  • The theme for World Refugee Day in 2023 was hope away from home.
    The theme in 2022 was Everyone Has the Right to Seek Safety.
  • 86% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries.
  • India witnessed a massive influx of refugees during the Partition of India in 1947, resulting in the displacement of an estimated 14 million people on both sides of the newly created countries of India and Pakistan.
  • India hosts a considerable number of refugees from several countries, including Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Most of these refugees have sought shelter under the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in India.

Top things to do in India for World Refugee Day

  • Share the hashtags #WorldRefugeeDay and #RefugeeStrong on social media to spread awareness.
  • Donate or volunteer for the UN Refugee Agency. All proceeds and time go toward helping resettle current and future refugees so that they have safe and healthy lives.
  • Watch a documentary to learn more about refugees in India. Here are our top picks:
    1. The Invisible People: India's Stateless (2019). Directed by Subrato Basu, this documentary gives voice to the countless individuals and families without a legal identity in India.

    2. Life On Hold: Documenting the Lives of India's Rohingya Refugees (2017). This short documentary by Saiful Said provides a glimpse into the lives of Rohingya refugees living in India.

    3. Midnight's Children (2012). Directed by Deepa Mehta, this film is based on Salman Rushdie's novel of the same name, which depicts the lives of two children who are born at midnight at the time of India's independence and tells their story through the lens of partition and internal migration within India.
  • Read a book to learn about refugees in India. Here are our recommendations:
    1. Footprints of a Dream: The Refugee Story in India by Dr. Shanti Sadiq Ali
    2. Noora's Future: Poignant Stories of Refugees by Mehru Jaffer
    3. India Partitioned: The Other Face of Freedom edited by Mushirul Hasan

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