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

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:night time shot of empire state building lit up with blue lights

On June 20th, 2019, the Empire State Building was lit blue in honor of World Refugee Day. 

The international icon of the New York skyline, since 1976 the Empire State Building’s tower lights have maintained a tradition of changing color to recognize various occasions and organizations throughout the year. This year, USA for UNHCR partnered with the Empire State Building to light the iconic building blue in recognition of the strength and achievements of refugees worldwide.


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 

Inside UNHCR’s COVID-19 Response: Protecting refugees during this health emergency.  LEARN MORE >>

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