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What is World Refugee Day?

With the impacts of ongoing conflict currently being felt worldwide, it is estimated that 84 million people are being forcibly displaced and over 26.6 million are now refugees. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has only heightened this crisis, with US officials estimating that the war could potentially displace up to 5 million people. So what can we do to support the children and families being most impacted by war and displacement? Let’s take a look at how we can help to spread awareness this World Refugee Day.

When is World Refugee Day?

World Refugee Day is on Monday 20th June 2022.

What is World Refugee Day?

World Refugee Day is an international day designed to celebrate and honour refugees around the world. The event aims to recognise the strength and courage of refugees who have fled conflict and persecution in their home country, in the hope of finding a better life for themselves and their families abroad.

The families impacted by these events often attempt to travel to different countries to pursue a better life and more stable living conditions. While ongoing conflict is the most common reason for families to flee their native country, other factors such as human rights breaches and poor working conditions, can also influence their decision.

Unfortunately, other countries often close their borders or put obstacles in place that make it difficult for refugees to enter. These barriers make seeking asylum and safety much more difficult. Ensuring that refugees are granted asylum and are not forcibly returned to countries where their lives or freedoms would be threatened, is one of the key objectives highlighted by World Refugee Day.

Why is World Refugee Day held?

On December 4 2000, the United Nations General Assembly resolved that 20th June would be designated as World Refugee Day. The resolution marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention that defined who a refugee is, and set out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum – including the responsibilities of nations who grant asylum.

The United Nations states that World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for the plight of refugees, as well as to recognise their resilience in rebuilding their lives. The day aims to increase awareness in the general public of the need for refugees to find asylum, as well as to influence political will and access to the resources required by refugees to thrive in their new homes.

This World Refugee Day, ChildFund is helping children and families in Ukraine to access emergency relief as they flee the Russian invasion of their country. The invasion is the latest in an ongoing conflict that has killed thousands of people since 2014, and has displaced millions more. Your support can help to deliver relief to the families of Ukraine as the crisis unfolds.

What is the theme of World Refugee Day 2022?

The theme of World Refugee Day 2022 is ‘Whoever. Wherever. Whenever. Everyone has the right to seek safety’. This refers to the fact that everyone on this planet has the right to be safe, no matter who they are, where they come from, and when they choose to seek it. The United Nations Refugee Agency states that there are five aspects to seeking safety:

  1. The right to seek asylum: Any person fleeing conflict, persecution, or other human rights abuses has the right to seek protection and safety in another country.
  2. The need for safe access: When people need to flee danger, borders should always stay open. Sudden restrictions, border closures, or redirection make a refugee’s journey to safety even more complicated and dangerous. This shouldn’t happen.
  3. No pushbacks or resistance: People and families cannot be forced back to the country they came from or anywhere where their freedom and life would be threatened. Other countries should not return refugees without first weighing up the danger the person would face.
  4. Fair consideration – no discrimination: When refugees come to the borders, they should not be discriminated against. Every person applying for refugee status should be considered fairly, irrespective of the country they are coming from, their religion, their race, and their gender.
  5. Humane treatment: Anyone forced to flee danger should be treated with full dignity and respect, just like any other person. Families should be kept together, people should be protected from trafficking, and arbitrary detention should never occur.

How can I support World Refugee Day 2022?

There are several ways that you can provide support during this year’s World Refugee Day:

Donate to our Ukraine Emergency Appeal

Children and families throughout Ukraine are either fleeing, hiding, or worse after Russia attacked their country from three sides early on February 24, 2002. Imagine being a child swept up in this event. You can make a donation to our Ukraine Emergency Appeal now and help to deliver relief to refugees of the ongoing crisis.

Create a Facebook fundraiser

Did you know you can create a fundraiser on Facebook for ChildFund Australia? You can help to support this year’s World Refugee Day by setting up a fundraiser for our Ukraine Emergency Appeal. You can invite family and friends to donate and support the cause also.

Host a morning tea

Set aside some time to talk about World Refugee Day with your co-workers by setting up a morning tea fundraiser in your office or organisation. A staff member coin donation could be suggested, with the proceeds going to our Ukraine Emergency Appeal to support the increasing number of refugees fleeing this crisis.

Together we can support refugees worldwide, by raising funds and increasing awareness this World Refugee Day.

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