World Refugee Day

3 min readJun 20, 2022

By Lorraine Charles, Na’amal Co-Founder and Executive Director

Developing and implementing innovative solutions to the refugee crisis is not only about finding feasible and beneficial approaches but rooting them in the lived and embodied experience of individuals directly affected by this crisis.

Since 2021, over 102 million migrants, asylum seekers, refugees, and internally displaced people have been forced to flee their homes. One of the hardest things about the enormity of this number is that often it becomes hard to address issues of displaced people as distinct individuals.

As NGOs and governments work tirelessly to deliver urgent and substantive aid and solutions in the face of such overwhelming and organizational bureaucracy, often the thing that gets lost is the voice of the refugee.

It’s important to stop and remember these are 102 million individuals with their own accomplishments, fears, obstacles, strengths, and stories. Within these millions of displaced people we find doctors, physicists, teachers, welders, lawyers, seamstresses, tailors, homemakers, intellectuals, a myriad of professionals whose greatest desire is to continue using those skills in order to provide for their families and to be valued parts of their new communities. It is through these very qualities and qualifications that we can enable displaced people to survive and thrive. Giving them a voice is not only a moral obligation but a way to design better solutions.

World Refugee Day highlights refugees’ rights, needs, and ambitions, assisting in mobilizing political will and resources so that refugees can not only survive but also flourish.

While it is critical to safeguard and enhance the lives of refugees every day, international days such as World Refugee Day assist to draw attention to the suffering of people escaping violence or persecution. Many events on World Refugee Day provide opportunity to help refugees.

Every year on June 20, World Refugee Day honours refugees all throughout the world. On June 20, 2001, the world celebrated World Refugee Day for the first time, honoring the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. Before the United Nations General Assembly formally declared it as an international day in December 2000, it was known as Africa Refugee Day.

Are you looking for more information on refugee support systems or want to learn more about the topic?

We prepared a number of articles for those who may need help, such as on how to seek asylum in Mexico or how Ukrainians may find support in Portugal. Also check out this inspiring story of Immigration Lawyer Rohan George helping Ukrainian refugees in Poland.

Lorraine is a consultant based in the United Arab Emirates with expertise in political economy, development, education and refugee issues in the Middle East. She is the co-founder and director of Na’amal, which facilitates remote work for refugees and vulnerable populations.

Contact Lorraine today and request a consultation if you need help leaving your country or need more information about possible visa options.

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