In the midst of migrants in search of a better life there are people in need of protection: refugees and asylum-seekers, women and children victims of trafficking. Many move simply to avoid dying of hunger. When leaving is not an option but a necessity, this is more than poverty. -Antonio Guterres
Imagine being the parent of a sick and hungry child and having to decide between risking your life staying in a conflict or leaving behind everything in search of safety.
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. 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.
World Refugee Day is an era for us to reflect on the refugees and displaced people around the world who bear these terrible burdens through no fault of their own. It is a day for governments around the world to augment their work to support refugees, to recommit themselves to the resolution of conflicts, and to make greater efforts to prevent them.