History of the World Refugee Day
The UN General Assembly decided to notify June 20 as World Refugee Day through a 55/75 resolution passed on December 4, 2000. Subsequently, the first World Refugee Day was commemorated on June 20, 2001. The year 2001 was the 50th anniversary of the Geneva Refugee Convention held in 1951, during which the definition of a refugee was agreed upon. Before World Refugee Day, African Refugee Day was celebrated on June 20 prior to 2000. However, the UN confirmed before the adoption that the Organization of African Unity had agreed to share the date as World Refugee Day.
Importance of the World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day has had a significant impact on the global refugee diaspora. It helps in creating awareness about the plight of the refugees, shedding light on the challenges they face on a daily basis. Likewise, World Refugee Day helps social and civil rights activists pressurize the global political leaders to notice and take appropriate actions to reduce the hardships of the refugees.
How many refugees are there in the World today?
According to the United Nations, a refugee is any person who – out of the fear of being persecuted on the basis of race, nationality, political opinion, or religion – is forced to leave his country of nationality and is unable to return. Based on this definition, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates the number of refugees worldwide to be more than 89.3 million.
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