World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day Quick Facts - NZ

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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 event that highlights the plight of refugees globally and pays tribute to their resilience and courage. The day aims to create awareness about refugee issues and encourage support for their well-being. It also acknowledges the efforts of various organizations to provide assistance and protection to these displaced individuals. World Refugee Day offers an opportunity for people to learn more about the challenges faced by refugees and works towards fostering a culture of inclusion and understanding among communities.

The United Nations General Assembly established World Refugee Day in 2000, recognizing the need to honor the perseverance of those forced to leave their homes due to conflict, persecution, or natural disasters. New Zealand, being a nation committed to human rights and humanitarian action, plays a vital role in supporting refugees on both global and local levels. Kiwis are encouraged to participate in World Refugee Day in order to better understand the complexities surrounding refugee crises and appreciate the valuable contributions refugees make to New Zealand's cultural, social, and economic landscape.

In New Zealand, World Refugee Day is commemorated with numerous events and activities designed to promote solidarity and compassion towards refugees. Community gatherings, cultural performances, film screenings, and panel discussions are typically organized by various groups and organizations throughout the country. These events not only celebrate the diversity and resilience of refugee communities but also facilitate a greater understanding of their experiences. World Refugee Day takes place on the 20th of June each year, providing New Zealanders with the opportunity to stand with refugees and make a positive change in their lives.

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.
  • New Zealand prioritizes the resettlement of refugees who are considered the most vulnerable, such as women at risk, survivors of violence and torture, and those with acute medical needs.
  • The New Zealand government operates a Refugee Quota Programme, which aims to resettle a specific number of refugees each year. Initially, the quota was set at 750 refugees per year but was increased to 1,000 in 2018. In 2020, the government further increased the quota to 1,500 refugees per year.

Top things to do in NZ 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 or film to learn more about refugees in New Zealand. Here are some suggestions:
    1. The Red House (2012) - This documentary follows a year in the life of a family who arrived in New Zealand as refugees from Burma, showing their experiences and struggles in settling in a new country.
    2. Resettlement (2012) - A short film by New Zealand filmmaker Jane Paynter that follows recently resettled refugees as they attend an adventure camp.
    3. Departure and Arrival (2009) - A series of short documentaries produced by New Zealand's Red Cross that explore the personal stories and experiences of refugees who have resettled in New Zealand.
  • Read a book to learn more about refugees in New Zealand. Here are our recommendations:
    1. Refuge New Zealand: A Nation's Response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers by Ann Beaglehole
    2. Across the Street, Across the World: A History of the Red Cross Refugee Programmes in New Zealand, 1944-1989 by Rosemary Baird
    3. Through Refugees' Eyes: Experiences of Refugees in New Zealand by Jennifer Lees-Marshment and Homa Foroughian

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