ISLAMABAD – The United Nations' World Refugee Day will be observed on June 20 to honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.
The theme of this year's celebration is "One family torn apart by war is too many." People honour the spirit and courage of millions of refugees worldwide on World Refugee Day. It is a day to recognize the contributions of refugees in their communities. Organizations such as Amnesty International and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) often get involved in various activities for the day.
For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own events similar to World Refugee Day. One of the most widespread events is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on June 20 in many countries. The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to express its solidarity with Africa on December 4, 2000.
The resolution noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the status of refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on June 20. The Assembly therefore decided that June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day from 2001 onwards.
This day was designated by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to bring attention to the plight of approximately 14 million refugees around the world.