World Refugee Day 2020: Importance, images, rights of refugees and more
NEW DELHI [Maha Media]: According to the United Nations, 20 people leave everything behind every minute to escape war, persecution or terror. Even as the world struggles to drive away coronavirus and anti-racism protests have grown louder than ever, World Refugee Day serves as a reminder that everyone on this planet matters, including refugees.
World Refugee Day, observed annually on June 20, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. Here's all you need to know
World Refugee Day 2020 theme
"Every Action Counts", All Lives Matter.
When was World Refugee Day first observed?
On December 4, 2000, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that from that year June 20 would be celebrated as World Refugee Day. In this resolution, the UNGA noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
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". Photo: Shutterstock
The UN lists down several types of forcibly displaced persons:
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”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.
Asylum seekers say they are refugees and have fled their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.
Internally Displaced Persons
Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people who have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.
Stateless persons do not have a recognized nationality and do not belong to any country.
Statelessness situations are usually caused by discrimination against certain groups. Their lack of identification — a citizenship certificate — can exclude them from access to important government services, including health care, education or employment.
Returnees are former refugees who return to their own countries or regions of origin after time in exile. Returnees need continuous support and reintegration assistance to ensure that they can rebuild their lives at home.
RefugeesThe rights of refugees are contained in the 1951 Convention of the UN. Photo: Shutterstock
What are the international rights of refugees across the globe?
The rights of refugees are contained in the 1951 Convention of the UN:
The right not to be expelled, except under certain, strictly defined conditions;
The right not to be punished for illegal entry into the territory of a contracting State;
The right to work;
The right to housing;
The right to education;
The right to public relief and assistance;
The right to freedom of religion;
The right to access the courts;
The right to freedom of movement within the territory;
The right to be issued identity and travel documents.
Some basic rights, including the right to be protected from refoulement, apply to all refugees. A refugee becomes entitled to other rights the longer they remain in the host country, which is based on the recognition that the longer they remain as refugees, the more rights they need.
Past themes of World Refugee Day
2019: Take A Step on World Refugee Day
2018: Now More Than Ever, We Need to Stand with Refugees
2017: Embracing Refugees to celebrate our Common Humanity
2016: We stand together with refugees
2015: With courage let us all combine
2014: Migrants and Refugees: Towards a Better World
2013: Take 1 minute to support a family forced to flee
2012: 1 family torn apart by war is too many
2010: 1 refugee forced to flee is too many
2003: Refugee Youth: Building the Future