A day to celebrate

First celebrated on June 20, 2001, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, World Refugee Day is a key moment in time to communicate with the world about who refugees are and why they require protection.

On World Refugee Day we celebrate refugees' contributions and seek to build empathy and understanding for their plight and their resilience to build a bright future.

1 billion

# of miles refugees travel each year to reach safety

A fresh start and a place to call home

mustafa smiling at camera

This World Refugee Day, we celebrate Mustafa Nuur, a resettled Somali refugee living in Lancaster, PA. Inspired by an interaction with a Lancaster local, Mustafa founded Bridge, a program designed to help “bridge” the cultural gap between resettled refugees and their neighbors. 

50 Million+

# of refugees helped by UNHCR since 1951

Show your support and make a difference

Communities across the United States and around the world will gather to commemorate World Refugee Day. Find an event near you, show your solidarity and stand together with refugees. 

Featured 2019 World Refugee Day Event:

kennedy center event graphic for world refugee day 2019

In partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the National Geographic Society, join UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on June 20, 2019 in Washington, DC as we pay tribute to the millions of refugees and forcibly displaced people around the world and the communities that welcome them with a special program on the Millennium Stage.

5:15 pm – 6:00 pm: A conversation with National Geographic Photo Camp refugee youth participants sharing stories of resilience, hope for their futures and connections to their new communities. With remarks from UNHCR and the National Geographic Society.

6:00 pm – 7:00 pm: A live performance by Alsarah & the Nubatones, an internationally acclaimed Brooklyn-based group with an authentic sound: ‘East – African retro-pop’. Their music features refugee themes including songs of displacement and returning home, as well as the cultural influences of Sudan and Egypt. With a diverse global audience, the Nubatones have proven over and over that soul crosses all cultural and linguistic barriers.

This event is free and open to the public. Learn more about the event and RSVP on Facebook to let us know you’ll be there.


states where people will be celebrating World Refugee Day!

"World Refugee Day is an expression of solidarity with people who have been uprooted from their homes by war or persecution . . . This not about sharing a burden. It is about sharing a global responsibility, based not only the broad idea of our common humanity but also on the very specific obligations of international law.” 


–António Guterres, UN Secretary-General 

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