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World Refugee Day 2023 – June 20

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World Refugee Day - June 20 2023

The United Nations (UN)’s World Refugee Day is observed annually on 20th June across the world to honour the strength and courage of refugees around the globe and encourages public awareness and support of the refugees, people who have had to flee their homelands because of conflict or natural disaster.

  • World Refugee Day is also an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

The 2023 theme of World Refugee Day is “Hope away from home“.

  • The 2023 theme admits people’s ability to find strength, rebuild their lives, and cultivate a sense of hope even in the face of immense challenges.
  • 2023 theme focuses on the power of inclusion and solutions for refugees.


i. In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted the resolution (A/55/597) and proclaimed the 20th June of every year as World Refugee Day.

ii. The first-ever World Refugee Day was observed on 20th June 2001.

iii. The 2001 event marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which sets out the fundamental concepts for international refugee protection.

Note: It was originally known as Africa Refugee Day, before the UNGA officially designated it as an international day in December 2000.

UNHCR Campaign:

i. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN Refugee Agency established by UNGA in 1950, is a global organisation dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution.

ii. UNHCR has launched a special campaign to create a global movement of solidarity with refugees.

1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol:

i. The UNs Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, adopted in 1951, is the centrepiece of international refugee protection, the Convention entered into force on 22 April 1954.

ii. It has been subject to only one amendment in the form of a 1967 Protocol, which removed the geographic and temporal limits of the 1951 Convention.

iii. The 1951 Convention, as a post-Second World War instrument, was originally limited in scope to persons fleeing events occurring before 1 January 1951 and within Europe.

iv. The 1967 Protocol removed these limitations and thus gave the Convention universal coverage. It has since been supplemented by refugee and subsidiary protection regimes in several regions,as well as via the progressive development of international human rights law.

v.The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol are the cornerstone of refugee protection and the key legal documents that form the basis of UNHCR’s work.

vi. The 1951 Convention provides the internationally recognized definition of a refugee and outlines the legal protection, rights and assistance a refugee is entitled to receive.

Additional info:

i. According to the UN, every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. There are several types of forcibly displaced persons such as refugees, Asylum Seekers, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Stateless Persons, Returnees (former refugees).

ii. At the end of 2022, more than 100 million people were forcibly displaced globally, a record number of people were moved by the war in Ukraine and other conflicts around the world.

About United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR):

Established on– December 14th 1950
High Commissioner– Filippo Grandi
Headquarters– Geneva, Switzerland
UNHCR works in- 135 countries (At present)