Geneva, 20 June 2022 (TDI): The world joins the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in commemorating World Refugee Day. This special day falls on 20th June every year.

This day was first commemorated on 20th June 2001.

World Refugee Day is a day to build empathy and understanding, and raise awareness of the special health requirements of refugees and people escaping persecution.

UNHCR Commissioner Filippo Grandi delivered an important message for the special day.

He said that World Refugee Day is meant to celebrate the human spirit and the fortitude of many people who strive to make their lives and the lives of their families and communities better despite being displaced.

He further added that about 100 million people have been forced to leave their homes.

According to UNHCR, the war in Ukraine as well as in countries such as Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo have all contributed to this large figure.

He called on states and parties around the world to realize that stopping war and conflict is the best and only solution to displacement.

Some Successes of the UNHCR

Grandi said that Cote D’Ivoire has recently emerged from the harsh conflict that forced many people to leave the country. According to Grandi, more than 310,000 Ivorian refugees, or 96% of those displaced have voluntarily returned home in the last ten years.

Between 2008 and 2011, the UNHCR held five conferences on refugee protection and International migration in cooperation with governments, the International Organization for Migration, and other partners.

These conferences include:

Sana’a, Yemen conference 2008; Dakar, Senegal conference in November 2008; San Jose, Costa Rica in 2009; East and Horn of Africa and Great Lakes region to southern Africa in Tanzania; and Kazakhstan in March 2011.

These helped raise awareness among stakeholders on protection challenging coming from the context of movement situations.