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 celebrated with various events in many countries around the globe in support of refugees. Immigrants, government officials, host groups, businesses, actors, school children, and members of the general public, among others, participate in these events each year.
The theme for the 2023 World Refugee Day, is "Hope away from Home. A world where refugees are always included." This theme focuses on the power of inclusion and solutions for refugees.
Integrating refugees into the communities where they have found safety after fleeing conflict and persecution is the most effective way to help them restart their lives and enable them to contribute to their host countries.
Here are a few events happening in Canada and around the world:
- The UN Refugee Agency organizes a youth art contest, whose theme for this year is "Hope away from home", encouraging young people to use their creativity to help refugees.
- The UN Refugee Agency in Canada partners with Arts Network Ottawa to host a special event at the George St. Plaza in the Byward Market, in Ottawa.
- The Refugee Sponsorship Training Program (RSTP) organizes a webinar on World Refugee Day that celebrates the resilience of refugees, hope, unity, and 10 years of the Blended Visa Office Referred (BVOR) Program.
- Many other events will happen this year and can be found by using the hashtag #WorldRefugeeDay, #WithRefugees, and #RefugeeDay on social media.
For more information
- What does the word “refugee” mean?, an article from WelcomeOntario.
- How does the Canadian Refugee protection system work?, an article from WelcomeOntario.
- Claiming refugee protection, explains how people arriving in Canada or who are already in Canada can apply for refugee protection by making a refugee claim to the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB).
- How is a refugee claim decision made?, an article from Settlement.Org that explains the decision process by the Immigration and Refugee Board (IRB) after making a refugee claim.