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World Refugee Day 2019 – History, Themes and Quotes

World refugee day is a day celebrated to honor the courage of the refugees and also to spread public awareness about the plight of the refugees worldwide. Understand History and how it is celebrated along with Quotes to share on your social profile!

World Refugee Day is a global observance. It is observed on 20thJune every year. It is celebrated to honor all the refugees and spread awareness among people to come forward to help and support them.

World Refugee Day

World Refugee day – An Overview

Refugees are basically a result of horrifying violence, persecution, poverty, drought, war, conflicts and various other events that occur in various countries across the world. Refugees are the people who have a very tough life as they have been forced to run away from their land, homes, people under the threat of war, persecution, conflict etc.

According to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, “A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”. 

World refugee day is a day celebrated to honor the courage of the refugees and also to spread public awareness about the plight of the refugees worldwide.  It is the day to celebrate the resilience and strength of the refugees who have lost their families, homes, their people and are forced to be displaced from their own land.

According to a report from Refugee Council countries like Pakistan, Lebanon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Turkey, Iran etc. are the top countries for refugees. The largest refugee camp is hosted by Dadaab, Kenya. Although, there are various reasons like poverty, natural disaster, war, persecution etc. behind the displacement of people but war and violence is the biggest reason these days.

The war and violence in Syria is the live example that has increased the number of refugees in the world in the past two years. The maximum number of refugees comes from countries like Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia etc.  and these are basically the survivors of the violence and war in their country.

This is the reason that United Nation announces a day i.e. 20th June to remind people around the globe to support and rebuild the life of refugees. The motto of celebrating this day is to honor the spirit and strength of the millions of the refugees.

World Refugee Day History

World Refugee Day was declared an international event when the United Nations General Assembly passed a Resolution 55/76 on 4th December 2000. The resolution was passed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention, 1951 relating to the status of the refugees. The first World Refugee Day was observed on 20th June 2001 and since then it was celebrated as a global event with a particular theme each year.

“Prior to 2000, there were several countries like Africa and few other that used to celebrate their refugee day on different dates.  United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is a UN program that works for the protection and resettlement of the refugees”.
Reach out to refugees on world refugee day 2019

World Refugee Day Themes

As we have mentioned above that World refugee day is being celebrated since 2001. To run the campaign successfully, to raise helping hands for refugees and to spread more awareness among the public it is celebrated with a particular theme each year.

Here are the world refugee day themes for all the previous years-

  • “Respect”- 2001
  • “Tolerance”- 2002
  • “Refugee Youth: Building the Future”- 2003
  • “Courage”- 2004
  • “Courage”- 2005
  • “Hope”- 2006
  • “Perseverance”- 2007
  • “Protection”- 2008
  • “Home”- 2009
  • “1 refugee forced to flee is too many”- 2010
  • “1 refugee without hope is too many”- 2011
  • “1 family torn apart by war is too many”- 2012
  • “Take 1 minute to support a family forced to flee”- 2013
  • “Migrants and Refugees: Towards a Better World”- 2014
  • “With courage let us all combine”- 2015
  • “We stand together with refugees”- 2016
  • “Embracing Refugees to celebrate our Common Humanity.”- 2017
  • “Now More Than Ever, We Need to Stand with Refugees”- 2018
  • “Global Compact on Refugees” – Tentative world refugee theme 2019

World Refugee Day 2019

A number of events and activities are performed worldwide by the people to celebrate this event. Community groups, organizations, NGOs and individuals around the globe organize various awareness programs on local, state and international level. World Refugee Day 2019 is scheduled for 20th June 2019, it will be Thursday on that day and holiday type will be United Nations observance.

On world refugee day 2019, the USA took part in the celebration. The iconic Empire State Building was lit blue in honor of the courage of refugees to celebrate the day. 

The UNHCR office in Cyprus organized various events in Nicosia and Larnaca in coordination with its diverse partners. These events were celebrated from 11th June till 24th June.

The highlights of these events are as follows –


  1. On 11th June 2019 (Tuesday) from 9:00-11:00- Help Refugee Work Business Breakfast
  2. On 12th June 2019 (Wednesday) from 18:30-20:00- Sistema Cyprus in Concert
  3. On 14th June 2019 (Friday) from 18:00-22:00- 6th Annual World Refugee Day Street Festival at Faneromeni Square 
  4. On 20th June 2019 (Thursday) at 20:30- Alexia Live in Concert at the Costanza Moat
  5. On 21st June 2019 (Friday) from 19:00-23:00- Fork Food Market at Nicosia Municipal Gardens
  6. On 21st June 2019 (Friday) from 18:30-23:30- “Better Together” event at Leftkelilen Hani/Lefkeliler Inn
  7. On 24th June 2019 from 16:00-18:00- Occupational Therapy with Refugee and Assylum-Seekers- End of Spring Semester Event


On 22nd June 2019 (Saturday) from 10:00-14:00- The event was held at the Latin Parish Centre. In this event, Caritas in Paphos invited members of the public to be a part of an open day to meet with some of the refugees. 


On 24th June 2019 from 18:00-22:00- World Refugee Day Festival at the Finikoudes stage area of the Larnaca Seafront. This event consisted of various music & dance performances, and food stands featured different flavors all over the world.  

Africa also took part in World Refugee Day 2019, celebrating many events to mark the spirit of millions of forcibly displaced people across the country. 

The brief details of the events organized in different parts of Africa are –

This year, Somali singer Yurub Geeny took part in the celebration by joining the refugees in Kebribeyah camp in the Somali region of Ethiopia for a week. Her performance was dedicated to the courage of the refugees, including men, women, and children.

In Uganda, many events were organized in the Rwamwanja refugee settlement in South-Western, Uganda. Many refugees from DRC, South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi, and Rwanda participated in these events. They presented different cultural songs & dances, dramas, contemporary performances, etc. to mark day. 

Participants also planted hundreds of trees to show their commitment to environmental conservation.

In Juba, South Sudan world refugee day was celebrated with colorful festivities. The catwalk was the main attraction of the event exhibiting traditional dresses. Along with these various dances, groups performed to celebrate the day. 

Many more events like fashion shows, dance & music performances, sports events, etc. were organized in different parts of Africa.

Some of the major activities include on this day-

  • Various debates activities and awareness activities are organized in schools, colleges, and other institutions.
  • Various sports activities and charity programs are organized in order to support refugees.
  • Volunteers and supporters organize events to protest against the imprisonment of refugees and displaced people.
  • Social activists, celebrities and other people visit refugee camps and learn about their lifestyle and real situation.
  • Various education programs, games, and other activities are organized in the refugee camps.
  • Various online and offline campaigns are run across the countries to support the refugees and to draw the attention of the world towards their conditions.
  • Individuals and organizations visit refugees and asylum seekers to provide them moral support.
  • People watch and share videos of the real-life stories of the refugees and their lifestyle & living conditions.
  • To celebrate the day, civilians and various social activists raise awareness through social media and ask for help and support.
  • Free clinic services, education, medicines, tents, food, water, blankets, and several other things are provided to help and support them.

World Refugee Day Quotes

This World Refugee day share some heart touching refugee day quotes and share awareness about the plight and pain of the refugees worldwide who are forced to leave their houses due to war and violence.

So, celebrate their strength and courage with these world refugee day quotes-

  • “No one puts their children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.”- Warsan Shire

  • “In countries where people have to flee their homes because of persecution and violence, political solutions must be found, peace and tolerance restored so that refugees can return home. In my experience, going home is the deepest wish of most refugees.” — Angelina Jolie

  • “They are safe but they are not in their homes. They are city-less. I think it’s just a disaster for everyone.” – Teri Hatcher

  • “Refugees are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, with the same hopes and ambitions as us—except that a twist of fate has bound their lives to a global refugee crisis on an unprecedented scale.”- Khaled Hosseini

  • “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”- Martin Luther King Jr.

  • “I urge you to celebrate the extraordinary courage and contributions of refugees past and present.” – Kofi Annan, Former UN Secretary-General

  • “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.”- Albert Einstein

  • “World Refugee Day is an important opportunity to remind us about the ongoing plight of millions of refugees around the world.” – Robert Alan Silvestein

  • “To be called a refugee is the opposite of an insult, it is a badge of strength, courage, and victory”- Tennessee Office of Refugees

The people and governments around the world should come together to support and do their fair share or contribute for the millions of refugees around the world looking for help. This will help them to encourage and live better.

With your kindness, you can become someone hero…

Join world refugee day 2019 today!

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