World Refugee Day 2023: Its Theme, History, Significance & Observance All Over The World

World Refugee Day is observed every year on June 20 with the aim to celebrate and honor refugees from around the world. The day was established by the United Nations in 2001 and since then it has been observed by more than 100 countries all over the globe. World Refugee Day also offers an opportunity for us to understand the hardships of the refugees and take action for providing them sanctuary and a better life. In this article, detailed information about World Refugee Day 2023 such as its theme, significance, history, observation, etc has been discussed.

World Refugee Day 2023 Overview

EventWorld Refugee Day 2023
DateJune 20, 2023
Declared byUnited Nations
Observed byWorldwide
Purpose of celebrationTo celebrate and honor refugees from around the world.

World Refugee Day 2023 Date

World Refugee Day 2023June 20, 2023Tuesday
World Refugee Day 2024June 20, 2024Thursday
World Refugee Day 2025June 20, 2025Friday
World Refugee Day 2026June 20, 2026Saturday
World Refugee Day 2027June 20, 2027Sunday

Significance of World Refugee Day

Due to the fear of war terror or other natural or man-made calamities, many people are forced to leave their countries and flee to other countries in the hope of a better life. While doing so, these people face immense difficulty which makes it important to take action for the protection and improvement of their lives. World Refugee Day aims to recognize the strength of the refugees who have fled the conflicts of their country with the hope of finding sanctuary in a better place. The day also provides an occasion to build empathy and understanding and recognize the resilience of the refugees in rebuilding their lives. In addition to this, World Refugee Day shines a light on the rights, needs, and dreams of refugees and helps mobilize resources so that the refugees not only survive but also thrive.

Definition of Refugee according to the UN

According to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, “a refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her nationality, race, religion, political opinion or membership in a particular social group”. The Convention also contains several rights for the refugees such as the right to:

  • Not be expelled, except under certain conditions
  • Work, housing, and education
  • Not be punished for illegal entry
  • Freedom of religion and movement
  • Public relief and assistance and access to the courts
  • Be issued identity and travel documents

Check other special days in June


The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 55/76 on December 4, 2000, stating that from 2001 onward, June 20 will be observed as World Refugee Day every year. The year 2001 celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.


Each year, World Refugee Day is celebrated with multiple events organized in support of refugees. These activities can be organized by the refugees themselves, government officials, host communities, refugee community organizations, or the general public as well. Activities on World Refugee Day include dance, films, and music festivals showcasing the struggles of the refugees and seminars on how to help them in creating a comfortable life. People show their support for the refugees by uploading their pictures UNHCR website (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) with a blue solidarity ribbon. This year, on the occasion of the Oscars, many celebrities too were found wearing a blue ribbon in their support of refugees.

Interesting facts about Refugees

Here are some interesting facts related to the refugees that you need to know on World Refugee Day 2023.

  1. According to the UNHCR, 65.3 million people around the world are displaced forcibly.
  2. On average, 20 people every minute or 42,500 people per day flee their homes to seek protection in other regions or countries.
  3. 86% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries.
  4. The world’s largest refugee camp containing over 329,000 people is located in Dadaab, Kenya.
  5. 51% of the 20 million refugees worldwide are under the age of 18.
  6. The first-ever Refugee Team competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
  7. Under international law, refugees cannot be forced back into their countries.
  8. Banned from working, refugees struggle to survive on a very meager amount, not even enough to feed themselves.
  9. Refugee entry into the US has declined substantially during Donald Trump’s presidency.

See: Important Dates and Days List

Frequently Asked Questions

When do we celebrate World Refugee Day?

June 20 every year

Is there any Refugee Week too?

Yes, Refugee Week is observed on the days surrounding Refugee Day, i.e. June 20.

What is the meaning of blue ribbon?

a blue ribbon is a sign that you stand #withrefugees around the world

What is the theme of World Refugee Day 2023?

“hope away from home”

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