Every minute, 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. The world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. Of the roughly 70 million people around the world who have been forced to leave their homes, 26 million are refugees, 4.2 million are asylum seekers and nearly half of them are children.

World Refugee Day is a time designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on 20 June and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to leave their own countries due to conflict, oppression or disaster.

It is also a time for campaigning and supporting the most vulnerable. This year, it is perhaps more important than ever.

In 2020, hundreds of refugee-hosting countries were affected by Covid-19. More than 80% of these were developing nations, struggling to deal with the effects of the pandemic. The millions of refugees living in overcrowded camps, with limited access to water, sanitation and health facilities were particularly at risk.

Read about the conflicts and violence that force millions from their homes in our briefing.

How will you get involved this week?

Read Our Stories


A moving interview with Mohammed Abdi Abdulahi, who was born in a Somali refugee camp in Kenya.


  1. Design a poster that spreads the word about World Refugee Day.
  2. Imagine you have to leave your home suddenly because of war. Write a diary entry describing how it would make you feel.
  3. Watch this video about how the community in Cox’s Bazar refugee camp fought Covid-19. Come up with another way to spread health updates safely and quickly.