Sunday, June 20th, 2021 is World Refugee Day, an international celebration orchestrated by the United Nations. Officially recognized on June 20th, 2001 (the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees), the day aims to commemorate and honor the grit and strength of those who leave their home countries due to conflict and seek out better lives for themselves and their loved ones.
The UN defines a refugee as “someone who has fled their home due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”. At least 20 people every minute leave their entire lives behind due to oppression and war-torn conditions (UN.org, 2021).
Global Giving has highlighted 7 shocking statistics for World Refugee Day, including:
65.3 million people are forcibly displaced around the world (21 million of these are considered refugees)
86% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries
329,000 people live at the world’s largest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya
Of the 20 million refugees worldwide, 51% are under the age of 18
Each year, a theme is chosen by the UN to celebrate World Refugee day. This year, the theme is about the power of inclusion: Together we heal, learn, and shine. The theme sends a reminder to all of us that together we can do anything. Please join the EPP Diversity and Inclusion committee to celebrate World Refugee day and research what life could be like for a refugee.
For additional resources, current events, or to learn more about World Refugee Day, please visit the following links:
What is a Refugee?: additional information and statistics regarding refugees and internationally displaced persons
UNHCR World Refugee Celebration, June 21st at 12:00pm EST//Live on @USAforUNHCR Instagram