What is World Refugee Day?
World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. Each year on June 20, it celebrates the strength and courage of people who have no choice but to flee their home country. World Refugee Day was held globally for the first time on June 20, 2001, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
What happens on World Refugee Day?
Each year, World Refugee Day is marked by a variety of events in many countries around the globe in support of refugees.
For the 2021 World Refugee Day, the theme is “Together we heal, learn and shine”. This year, the UN Refugee Agency and Twitter commissioned Afghan-Canadian artist Hangama Amiri to create the emoji for World Refugee Day. This emoji will be activated on any tweet that uses the hashtags #WorldRefugeeDay, #WithRefugees and #RefugeeDay from June 13th to June 23rd.
Here are a few events happening in Canada and around the world:
- Global Affairs Canada launched the #Together4Venezuelans Walk Campaign to raise awareness about Venezuelan refugees and the dangerous journey they have to go through to find safety.
- The UN Refugee Agency organizes a youth art contest, whose theme for this year is “Together Through Sport”, encouraging young people to use their creativity to help refugees. They also published a toolkit for people who want to get involved for World Refugee Day.
- The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) launched a series of videos about the BVOR (Blended Visa Office-Referred) Program, sharing stories of sponsors.
- Many other events will happen online this year and can be found by using the hashtag #WorldRefugeeDay on social media.