On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20, we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees.
World Refugee Day was first celebrated on June 20, 2001 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. 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.
A staggering 100 million people are displaced around the world due to conflict, violence and persecution. With record numbers of people forced to flee their homes, USA for UNHCR has witnessed a tremendous outpouring of support and solidarity for children, women and men seeking safety. For World Refugee Day 2022, we recognize that every person has the right to seek safety—whoever they are, wherever they come from and whenever they are forced to flee.
Join us this World Refugee Day and use the hashtags #WorldRefugeeDay, #withrefugees and #SafetyForAll to honor refugees and displaced people by amplifying their voices and experiences.
This World Refugee Day, in order to raise awareness about the fundamental right to safety for everyone forced to flee, USA for UNHCR is launching the #SafetyForAll campaign. We’re asking YOU to share a person or item that makes you feel safe on social media using the hashtag #SafetyForAll to help teach others about the global refugee crisis and the right of everyone, everywhere to seek safety.
Join UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and The Kennedy Center for two upcoming public events in celebration of World Refugee Day. On June 23, 2022 at 8pm EDT, there will be a free outdoor film screening of Disney's animated 2022 Oscar winner Encanto on the REACH video wall at The Kennedy Center. Learn more about the event here.
On June 24, 2022 at 6pm EDT, join the C4 Trio, a Grammy-winning Venezuelan music ensemble mixing elements of traditional music, jazz, pop, world music and Latin music. The free live performance will be at Millennium Stage South at The Kennedy Center and the livestream will be available on their website. Learn more about the event here.
The Queens Night Market kicks off on June 18, 2022 from 5pm to 12am EDT and will feature over 100 independent vendors selling merchandise, art and food as well as cultural performances that celebrate the rich diversity of NYC and Queens. A cookbook highlighting the night market's vendor-chefs, many of whom are refugees and immigrants, has been published. Learn more about the event and cookbook here.
UNHCR and Chelsea Market are partnering on World Refugee Day to celebrate the opening of Eat Offbeat, a new eatery at Chelsea Market that celebrates the cooking of resettled refugees that call the U.S. home. On June 20, 2022 from 6pm to 9pm EDT, come to Chelsea Market for an unforgettable night of food, music and dancing.
For World Refugee Day 2022, USA for UNHCR honors refugee narratives, putting refugees at the center of all World Refugee Day activities. We asked young refugees and refugee allies across the United States to share their stories for the Storyteller Celebration. For World Refugee Day, we will feature stories that were entered in the celebration, including one that has been transformed into an animated video about the life of the storyteller.
Learn more about our amazing young refugee storytellers featured in 2021 — Chantale, Night Jean, Dana, Bijaya and Abdallah — below.
After losing her parents and fleeing violence & persecution in the DRC, Chantale has become a leader in her community and a trailblazer for refugee girls around the world.
When she was only 13 years old, Chantale Zuzi was forced to flee her home in the DRC after losing her parents in a massacre and having her life threatened due to her albinism. Since then, she has resettled in the United States and is using her voice to advocate for refugee girls and help uplift other young women.
Night Jean spent 16 years in a refugee camp. Now as a poet, motivational speaker and youth mentor, he is using his voice to advocate and empower other youth in his community.
Night Jean spent the first 16 years of his life in a refugee camp. Even after being resettled in the United States, he continued to face many challenges. But everything began to change when he learned English, graduated high school and discovered a passion for poetry and uplifting others.
At just 12 years old, Dana is the youngest advocate for refugees in Florida. She uses her story and art to educate legislators and help others better understand refugees.
As the youngest refugee advocate in Florida, 12-year-old Dana uses her story and her art to help spread awareness and educate others about displaced populations. She believes that kindness and compassion are the best ways to fight ignorance and misinformation.
For Bijaya, resettling in the U.S. opened a world of opportunity. Now he shares his voice and leads his community through civil service.
Resettling in the United States opened a world of opportunity for Bijaya. After being born and raised in a refugee camp in Nepal, he grew up feeling helpless and stranded. Now resettled in Rochester, NY, Bijaya is committed to serving his community and becoming a voice for those who have been forced into silence.
Abdallah is a young resettled refugee, EMT and medical interpreter who is using his experiences to uplift others and pursue a career in medicine.
Abdallah is a resettled refugee from Iraq who overcame countless challenges to pursue his education. Now, he’s an EMT and med student with dreams of becoming a doctor who can improve the healthcare system.
"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