World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day Quick Facts - GB

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Related Hashtags#RefugeeWeek, #RefugeesWelcome, #Refugees
2024 Date20 June 2024
2025 Date20 June 2025

World Refugee Day

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World Refugee Day History

World Refugee Day is a global observance that seeks to raise awareness and show support for the millions of refugees worldwide who flee conflict, persecution, and hardship in search of safety and dignity. This vital event serves as a poignant reminder of the critical importance of international cooperation, solidarity, and understanding in addressing the challenges faced by displaced individuals and the communities hosting them. Across the globe, public and private organisations, governments, and ordinary individuals come together on this day to celebrate the contributions and resilience of refugees, demonstrate empathy, and advocate for their rights and integration.

In recognition of the growing numbers and plight of refugees, the United Nations General Assembly commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees by adopting a resolution to observe World Refugee Day annually. This day of observance holds great significance for the United Kingdom, as the country has a long history of providing sanctuary and assistance to those in need, with the UK being one of the original signatories of the convention. The UK has been a forerunner in the establishment of global standards related to refugees and asylum seekers, and the day provides an opportunity to recognise the shared responsibility for addressing the needs of displaced individuals and families.

In honour of World Refugee Day, various events and activities take place across the United Kingdom that focus on raising awareness, fostering dialogue, and encouraging proactive action among communities. These may include exhibitions, talks, film screenings, music performances, and educational workshops in schools, public spaces, and online platforms, which all aim to celebrate the richness of refugee's cultural heritage and promote social cohesion. In the UK, World Refugee Day is not only a reminder of the international commitment to support refugees but also an opportunity to celebrate and embrace the unique contributions and talents of those who have sought refuge on British shores. 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.
  • The United Kingdom played a significant role in assisting refugees during and after World War II. After the war, the UK accepted around 200,000 Polish refugees who had fought alongside the Allies and could not return home due to political reasons.
  • According to UNHCR data, the UK ranked 6th among European countries in terms of the number of refugees hosted in 2020.

Top things to do in the UK 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 about immigration and refugees in the United Kingdom. Here are our recommendations:
    1. Moving On (2021) - A documentary that follows three refugee families from Syria as they adjust to their new life in the United Kingdom.
    2. Midnight Traveler (2019) - This personal and intimate documentary follows a family of Afghan refugees desperate to seek asylum in the UK, documenting their dangerous journey across multiple countries.
    3. The Flood (2019) - A British dramatic film that explores the issues surrounding refugees, as it follows a hardened immigration officer who must decide the fate of a dangerous asylum seeker in the UK.
  • Read a book to learn more about immigration and refugees in the United Kingdom. Here are our suggestions:
    1. The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-War Immigration by David Goodhart
    2. Bloody Foreigners: The Story of Immigration to Britain by Robert Winder
    3. We Are Here Because You Were There: Immigration and the End of Empire in Britain by Ian Sanjay Patel

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