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World Refugee Day on 20 June: Occasion honours courage of refugees; history and this year's theme

·2 min read

Every year on 20 June, World Refugee Day is observed. The United Nations observes this day to honour the courage of refugees around the world who have been forced outside of their homes. In order to escape persecution and conflict, refugees travel away from their homeland. Refugees try to settle somewhere safe and build their life from scratch. The day aims to build understanding and empathy for refugees building their life in countries new to them.

World Refugee Day History

World Refugee Day was celebrated for the first time on20 June, 2001,on the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention or 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. According to the UNHCR, 20 June was earlier marked as the Africa Refugee Day but it was changed to World Refugee Day in December 2000.

World Refugee Day Theme

This year, the theme for World Refugee Day is 'Together we heal, learn and shine'. The UN states that the COVID-19 pandemic has made it evident that we can only succeed by standing together. Despite facing several challenges, refugees too contributed in making the communities around them safer. The UN calls for the greater inclusion of refugees in the healthcare system across the world.

World Refugee Day Facts

  • According to the UN, 20 people leave their homes every minute to escape persecution, terror and war.

  • The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol help to protect refugees

  • All refugees have the right to be protected from refoulement (forcible return)

  • Refugees have the right to work, education and housing among several other rights

Organisations working with refugees

Several organisations are helping refugees across the world including the ActionAid UK and Global Resolutions. In India, Sphere India and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, India are also working for the welfare of refugees.

Also See: World Refugee Day 2021: A look at Syrian and other major refugee crises around the world

Read more on World by Firstpost.

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