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World Refugee Day

Quick Facts

The United Nations' World Refugee Day honors refugees' courage, strength and determination.

Local names

NameLanguage
World Refugee DayEnglish
Día Mundial de los RefugiadosSpanish
יום הפליטים הבינלאומיHebrew
يوم اللاجئ العالميArabic
세계 난민의 날Korean
WeltflüchtlingstagGerman

World Refugee Day 2014

Friday, June 20, 2014

World Refugee Day 2015

Saturday, June 20, 2015
List of dates for other years

The United Nations' (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

UN world Refugee Day

World Refugee Day honors the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide.

©iStockphoto.com/David Snyder

What do people do?

People honor the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide on World Refugee Day. It is a day to recognize the contributions of refugees in their communities. Organizations such as Amnesty International and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) often get involved in various activities for the day. They may include:

Some communities dedicate an entire week that includes World Refugee Day to encourage people to think about the lives of refugees and the human right to a secure place to that one can see as “home”.

Public life

World Refugee Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own events similar to World Refugee Day. One of the most widespread events is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on June 20 in many countries. the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to express its solidarity with Africa on December 4, 2000.

The resolution noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on June 20. The Assembly therefore decided that June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards. This day was designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to bring attention to the plight of approximately 14 million refugees around the world.

Symbols

The UN Refugee Agency's (UNCHR) logo is often associated with the day. The colors used are either white on a blue background or blue on white background. The logo features olive branches that symbolize peace surrounding or protecting two hands facing each other, and in the middle a figure of a person protected by these hands. The logo is sometimes featured with the words “UNHCR”, followed by “The UN Refugee Agency” in smaller text to mark the logo.

The UNHCR in Canada uses a special World Refugee Day logo that features two figures – one smaller figure on the left and a taller figure on the right. They are protected by brackets or half circles. The words “World Refugee Day” are placed at the centre top of the figures, and “20 June” is placed at under the figures at the centre. All elements of the logo are the one color – green. 

World Refugee Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
WedJun 202001World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuJun 202002World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
FriJun 202003World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
SunJun 202004World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
MonJun 202005World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
TueJun 202006World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
WedJun 202007World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
FriJun 202008World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
SatJun 202009World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
SunJun 202010World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
MonJun 202011World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
WedJun 202012World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuJun 202013World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
FriJun 202014World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
SatJun 202015World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
MonJun 202016World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
TueJun 202017World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
WedJun 202018World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
ThuJun 202019World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
SatJun 202020World Refugee DayUnited Nations observance 
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