World Refugee Day falls each year on June 20 and is dedicated to refugees around the globe. World Refugee Day was held globally for the first time on June 20, 2001, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. It was originally known as Africa Refugee Day, before the United Nations General Assembly officially designated it as an international day in December 2000.
The day honors the strength and courage of people who have had to flee their homes to escape conflict or persecution. It also aims to build empathy and understanding for the challenges they face in rebuilding their lives in a new place. This day is used to commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of millions of refugees worldwide. Refugees are people fleeing conflict or persecution. They are defined and protected by international law.
FACTS ABOUT REFUGEES
1. Roughly 50% of all refugees are children under the age of 18 – despite the fact that children only make up about 30% of the world’s population.
2. One in every 113 people on Earth (about 1% of the world’s population) has been driven from their homes by persecution, conflict, violence’s, or violation of human rights.
3. The number of refugees has nearly doubled in the past 20 years.
4. There are 82.4 million people around the world who have been forcibly displaced—the highest figure ever recorded.
5. Developing countries host more than 85% of the world’s refugees with more than 3 million refugees arriving in the U.S. since 1975.