UN High Commissioner for Refugees Current Affairs - 2019
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The World Refugee Day is observed across the world on 20 June every year. The theme for World Refugee Day 2019 was: Step with Refugees – Take a Step on World Refugee Day.
About World Refugee Day
Objective: The day is overserved annually to celebrate stories and contributions of refugees.
Background: On 4 December 2000, United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in resolution 55/76 proclaimed to celebrate 20 June as World Refugee Day, starting from 2001. In this resolution, UNGA noted that 2001 marked 50th anniversary of 1951 Convention relating to Status of Refugees. It is observed to commemorate the day to honor all refugees, raise awareness and solicit support.
Observance: Individuals and community groups are encouraged to mark the World Refugee day by attending local World Refugee Day event, watching and sharing World Refugee Day videos and also by raising awareness for refugees on social media.
UNHCR Study on Refugees
As per the latest annual study released by United Nation’s office of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCS) nearly 70.8 million men, women and children were forcibly displaced at the end of 2018. This is highest number of displaced individuals in organization’s 70-year history.
The study cited that violence, wars and persecution is the reason behind driving record numbers of people from their homes worldwide.
Almost 66% of those who are uprooted from their homes are internally displaced persons who have not left their homelands. Nearly 80% of these refugees live in countries neighbouring their country of origin.
Study states that on an average, 1 person is forcibly displaced every 2 seconds as a result of conflict/persecution and refugees are among the world’s most vulnerable people.
Who is a Refugee?
As per United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention– A refugee is a person who fled his/her home and country owing to a well-founded fear of persecution either because of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or due to political opinion.
The World Refugee Day is observed every year June 20 to raise awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. Observance of this day seeks to draw attention to the plight of refugees and also to celebrate their courage and resilience and renew commitment to solve refugee problems. The theme for World Refugee Day 2018 is “Now More Than Ever, We Need to Stand with Refugees.”
United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention, defines refugees as those who have fled their country owing to well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in particular social group or political opinion. UN has revealed that record high of 68.5 million individuals have now been displaced worldwide due to war, poverty, persecution and other events.
On this day, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNRA) also known as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) hosts various events and announces theme for its campaign. With this, UNRA seeks to draw public’s attention to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide who have fled their homes forcefully due to war, conflict and persecution.
The World Refugee Day was proclaimed by United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) h by passing Resolution 55/76 on 4 December 2000. The resolution was passed to mark 50th anniversary of UN Refugee Convention, 1951. Since then it is observed annually with different themes. Prior to passing of this resolution in 2000, African Refugee Day was formally celebrated on 20 June in several countries especially by Organization of African Unity (OAU) member states. The theme for year 2017 was “Embracing Refugees to Celebrate our Common Humanity”.