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.
Hope away from home – a world where refugees are always included
At the end of 2022, more than 100 million people were forcibly displaced globally — a record number propelled by the war in Ukraine and other conflicts around the world. For millions of refugees who are forcibly displaced each year due to conflict, violence and persecution, fleeing is the first step in a long and difficult journey to finding safety.
With a record number of people forced to flee their homes, the international community must work together to give refugees more hope and more opportunities while they are away from home. The most effective way to support refugees is by including them in the communities where they have found safety — this means ensuring they can apply for jobs, enroll in schools and access services like housing and healthcare. Inclusion paves the way for long-term solutions for refugees and displaced people, allowing them to thrive in a new country or preparing them for a safe return to their home countries.
On World Refugee Day, let’s commit to including refugees in our schools, workplaces, healthcare systems and beyond. Use the hashtags #WorldRefugeeDay, #WithRefugees and #RefugeeDay on social media to honor refugees and displaced people by amplifying their voices and experiences.
On World Refugee Day 2023, USA for UNHCR is centering the voices of young refugees and refugee allies from across the United States. For this year’s Storyteller Celebration, we asked refugee storytellers and allies to share their courageous journeys, passions and inspirations. Our featured storytellers come from different backgrounds but share one important thing in common — they exemplify the power of hope and inclusion. Their stories display the hope and courage of refugees who have endured difficult journeys to resettle in a new country and the welcoming spirit of allies who celebrate their role in making refugees feel at home. To make sure you’re notified about these upcoming stories, follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook!
Interested in learning more about the Storyteller Celebration and our previous storytellers? Check out their stories below!
Our featured storytellers from 2022: Haya and Ghena, and allies Maggie, Rashika and Hadia.
Abdallah is a young resettled refugee, EMT and medical interpreter who is using his experiences to uplift others and pursue a career in medicine.
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.
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.
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.
For Bijaya, resettling in the U.S. opened a world of opportunity. Now he shares his voice and leads his community through civil service.
"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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