Standing with Refugees

World Refugee Day is held each year on June 20th to draw public attention to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.

The annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in more than 100 countries, involving government officials, humanitarian aid workers, celebrities, civilians and the forcibly displaced themselves.Every Day

Categories of Displaced People

The UN recognizes several categories of forcibly displaced persons.

REFUGEES are people who fled their homes and countries out of fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.

ASYLUM SEEKERS are people who have fled their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.

INTERNALLY DISPLACED PERSONS (IDPs) are people who have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.

STATELESS PERSONS do not have a recognized nationality and do not belong to any country. Statelessness is usually caused by discrimination against certain groups. Their lack of a citizenship certificate can exclude them from access to important government services, including health care, education, and employment.

RETURNEES are former refugees who return to their own countries or regions of origin after time in exile. Returnees need continuous support and reintegration assistance to ensure that they can rebuild their lives at home.

millions by category2#WithRefugees

Hundreds of families are forced to flee their homes each day. The UN Refugee Agency (the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR) believes it is time to show world leaders that the global public stands with refugees. The UNHCR launched its #WithRefugees petition on June 20th to send a message to governments that they must work together and do their fair share for refugees.

Over 60 celebrities from film, TV, and music joined refugees, faith leaders and UNHCR staff in urging the public to sign a petition on behalf of the world’s forcibly displaced. The message comes in a video which delivers the message, We Stand With Refugees – Please Stand With Us.

We Stand With Refugees 2016 – Please Stand With Us60 Mill half kids JPG

Appearing in the video are UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors actor Cate Blanchett, author Khaled Hosseini, and supermodel and former refugee Alek Wek. Others lending support include faith leaders Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Venerable V. Vajiramedhi, as well as actors Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Margot Robbie, Ben Stiller and Dame Helen Mirren. Also appearing are singers Rokia Traore, Juanes, Mika, Maher Zain, Bryan Adams, and Babaa Maal. The video comes in a time of heightened anti-refugee rhetoric coupled with greater restrictions to asylum.
In addition to gathering public support for the growing numbers fleeing conflict and persecution worldwide, the petition calls on governments toDeveloping Countries four-fifths JPG2

  • Ensure every refugee child gets an education.
  • Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.
  • Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution to their community.

The petition will be delivered in advance of September’s historic UN High-Level Plenary of the General Assembly on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants, scheduled for the 19th of September. You can pledge your support and sign the petition here.