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.

World Refugee Day 2021


This year’s World Refugee Day theme is the power of inclusion, reminding us that together we can do anything.

USA for UNHCR believes in the power of refugee voices, and as we celebrate inclusion, we strengthen our commitment to uplifting those voices as they tell their own stories, in their own way. For World Refugee Day 2021, USA for UNHCR will be honoring refugee narratives with In Our Own Voices, putting refugees at the center of all World Refugee Day activities. 

Join the celebration by sharing and amplifying refugee voices this World Refugee Day and using the hashtag #refugeevoices.

In Our Own Voices


Earlier this year, USA for UNHCR asked young refugees across the United States to share their stories in the Refugee Youth Storyteller’s Celebration. This World Refugee Day, we are featuring five 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 — Chantale, Night Jean, Dana, Bijaya and Abdallah — below. And check out our featured storyteller, Abdallah, in a brand new animated video.

World Refugee Day Events


This World Refugee Day, USA for UNHCR is celebrating with two live-virtual events. Join us on June 17, 2021 at 3pm EST for Celebrating Refugee Storytellers — a fireside chat with our featured refugee storyteller, Abdallah Al-Obaidi, and the animation team that helped bring his story to life. This chat will discuss the importance of inclusion and of giving refugees the chance to tell their own stories followed by the premiere of Abdallah’s animated story! 

Celebrating Refugee Storytellers Event

Then tune into our Instagram livestream on June 21, 2021 at 12pm EST for a conversation with Chantale Zuzi, an amazing young refugee storyteller from the In Our Own Voices series, Maliha Abidi, the artist and activist who illustrated this year's World Refugee Day stories, and Rachel Rudwall, an Emmy-nominated producer, host, camera operator and writer.

Instagram Live World Refugee Day Event


"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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