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
Turkey threatens Europe with refugee crisis
Should Europe welcome more refugees? Turkey has “opened the human floodgates” in retaliation for lack of support in Syria. Rich, Western nations are trapped in an agonising, moral dilemma.
Outcry after Shamima Begum’s baby dies in Syria
The UK has been accused of abandoning the teenager’s newborn son, who died on Thursday. Now, it has emerged that two more British ISIS brides have been stripped of their citizenship.
Asylum hope for Saudi teenager who fled death
An 18-year-old Saudi woman who fled her family at the weekend is in hiding in Thailand pleading for asylum. She fears that her father and brother may kill her for renouncing Islam.
A moving interview with Mohammed Abdi Abdulahi, who was born in a Somali refugee camp in Kenya.
- Design a poster that spreads the word about World Refugee Day.
- Imagine you have to leave your home suddenly because of war. Write a diary entry describing how it would make you feel.
- 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.