Each day war, natural calamities force thousands of families to flee their homes to other places. In search of future and life, leaving everything behind and hoping for a safer future many of the refugees travel to unknown places. To create awareness and make people know about the pathetic journey of migrants every year June 20th is celebrated as World Refugee day.
The United Nations General Assembly declared the Resolution 55/76 of celebrating Refugee day on 4th of December in 2000. Globally the annual celebration of the event started from 2001 on this day of June.
The annual event is all about honouring and appreciating the strength, courage and spirit of men, women and children who are forced to move from their homeland. On this World Refugee Day, some social organisations around the world recognise the contributions of refugees in their localities and conduct various activities.
The present International Refugee day is former African Refugee Day celebrated as an expression of solidarity with Africa, which has the most number of refugees in the world. Later the United Nations General Assembly on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees had made the day as International Refugee day and the Organization of African Unity also agrees with the same.
Some of the main World Refugee Day activities are
- Organizing Protests and rallies against their governments to detain migrants and asylum seekers.
- Different films were screened which talks mainly about the lives of asylum seekers and their difficulties while living in other countries.
- Members of different social organisations visit asylum seekers under Government custody and offer moral support to them.
- Filing petitions, letters to the respective governments for the release of refugees in prisons.
- Members of some communities dedicate their entire week that includes World Refugee Day to bring awareness, motivate other people to think about the sad lives of the refugees.
Role of UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees):
UNHCR, a part of UN organisation which is aimed to protect and support refugees and helps them in their resettlement, voluntary repatriation, and local integration to another country. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland and is one of the members of the United Nations Development Group. The UNHCR was awarded two Nobel Peace Prizes for its services in 1954 and 1981.
According to UNHCR, A refugee has a right to safe asylum, and cannot be sending back to a country where his/her life or freedom may be at risk. Every Refugee can access the national legal system, healthcare system and Government school for the education of their children.
The Organisation conducts different campaigns on their way accomplish their mission. One of the new thought of UNHCR is” #WithRefugees” a social campaign to make world leaders know that the worldwide public stands #WithRefugees.
This year, World Refugee Day also marks a pivotal moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee.