Response Updates

World Refugee Day

Reported by Convoy of Hope

Every year on June 20, people around the globe come together to observe World Refugee Day.

This is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the challenges faced by refugees and honoring their strength, courage, and resilience.

Refugees are people who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, or persecution.

These people are often seeking safety and the opportunity to rebuild their lives.

World Refugee Day serves as a reminder of our collective responsibility to support these individuals and advocate for their rights.

A child in Lebanon
In October 2022, Convoy of Hope provided relief to Syrian refugees in Lebanon that had been severely affected by heavy snowfall and flooding.

This article will:

Immigrants, Refugees & Migrants

Understanding the terms “immigrant,” “refugee,” and “migrant” — and their differences — is essential for appreciating the distinct experiences and legal statuses of each group.

Immigrant vs. Refugee

The difference between an immigrant and a refugee lies primarily in the reasons and circumstances for their relocation.

An immigrant typically moves to another country voluntarily for reasons such as better economic opportunities, education, or family reunification.

A refugee is forced to flee their home country due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on factors like race, religion, or political opinion.

While immigrants usually undergo a legal process for permanent residency, refugees seek asylum and protection under international laws due to their urgent need for safety.

Despite these differences, immigrants and refugees often share the experience of adapting to new environments and rebuilding their lives in unfamiliar settings.

Migrant vs. Refugee

The difference between a refugee and a migrant centers on the reasons and legal protections for their movement.

A migrant typically relocates voluntarily, often for economic opportunities, and may move within or between countries.

A refugee is compelled to leave their country due to persecution, conflict, or violence and seeks safety under the protection of international laws, such as the 1951 Refugee Convention.

While migrants may also seek better living conditions, refugees are fleeing immediate threats to their safety and require urgent asylum and protection.

Regardless of the status of a person in transition, many nonprofits recognize their unique needs and seek to meet them.

For example, Convoy of Hope is a faith-based nonprofit organization at work around the world to alleviate poverty and hunger.

When the war in Ukraine broke out in 2022, Convoy quickly mobilized resources and personnel to serve the millions of Ukrainians fleeing the violence.

Convoy also responds when a refugee crisis is created by a natural disaster, such as the earthquakes that have recently impacted Turkey and Syria, Morocco, and Japan.

To see how Convoy of Hope is helping refugees from the Ukraine/Russia War, watch the video above.

What Is World Refugee Day?

World Refugee Day — also referred to as Refugee World Day — was created by the United Nations General Assembly in 2000 and was first celebrated on June 20, 2001, marking the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention.

This day was created to honor the bravery and resilience of refugees worldwide and to recognize their contributions to the communities where they have found safety.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) plays a pivotal role in organizing events and campaigns to raise awareness about the plight of refugees.

These efforts aim to garner support from governments, organizations, and individuals to address the refugee crisis and provide the necessary resources for refugees to rebuild their lives.

When Is World Refugee Day 2024?

In 2024, World Refugee Day will be observed on Thursday, June 20.

This day serves as a global reminder of the urgent need to support refugees and find sustainable solutions to the challenges they face.

Brussels, Belgium. 06/09/15: Asylum seekers are waiting in the early morning in front of Fedasil (Federal agency for the reception of asylum seekers) picture on 06 September in Brussels. (Photo by Jonathan Raa/Nurphoto)

It is a time for communities worldwide to come together and stand in solidarity with those who have been forcibly displaced.

5 Ways To Celebrate World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day offers a unique opportunity to show support and solidarity with those who have been forcibly displaced. If you’re wondering how World Refugee Day is celebrated around the globe, read on.

Here are some meaningful ways to celebrate and make a difference.

Remember, understanding and acknowledging refugee status is crucial to these celebrations, as it emphasizes the need for continued support and protection for those who have been forced to flee their homes.

1. Raise Awareness

Host or participate in events that highlight refugee stories and the challenges they face. Educational workshops, film screenings, and panel discussions can help spread knowledge and foster empathy.

Convoy of Hope, for example, uses its web presence and social media sites to raise awareness of the plight of refugees it serves, such as in South Sudan.

2. Donate

Contribute to organizations that provide aid and support to refugees, such as UNHCR, Convoy of Hope, and local refugee assistance programs.

Financial donations can help provide essential services, including shelter, food, medical care, and education. They can also help refugees return home whenever the situation allows for them to return.

3. Volunteer

Offer your time and skills to local organizations that support refugees and asylum seekers.

Volunteering can involve mentoring, teaching, offering legal assistance, or simply providing companionship to those who have been displaced.

4. Advocate

Use your voice to influence policy changes that improve the lives of refugees.

Contacting your elected representatives, signing petitions, and participating in advocacy campaigns can help ensure that refugees receive the protection and support they need.

5. Educate

Learn more about the refugee crisis and share your knowledge with others.

Understanding the distinctions of immigrant vs. refugee and migrant vs. refugee, and the legal protections afforded to refugees, can help combat misinformation and promote a more compassionate response to displaced people.

Next Steps

World Refugee Day is a critical opportunity to reflect on the experiences of refugees and our collective responsibility to support them.

As we observe World Refugee Day 2024, let us remember the millions of refugees who have been forced to flee their homes and seek safety elsewhere.

By raising awareness, donating, volunteering, advocating, and educating, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of refugees and help them rebuild their lives with dignity and hope.

In a world where armed conflict, persecution, and violence continue to displace millions, it is more important than ever to stand in solidarity with refugees and ensure they receive the protection and support they deserve.

Relief for Ukraine Family

This World Refugee Day, be reminded that each of us has a responsibility to help build a more welcoming and empathetic global community.

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This week Convoy team members visited the island of Mayreau — an island that was nearly erased by #HurricaneBeryl — to distribute supplies. In #Texas, 1.3 million people are still without power. Here's @Ethan_Forhetz with the latest update. Learn more at https://h.ope.is/46hiSl3.