World Refugee Day

Who are Refugees and Asylum Seekers?

Refugees and asylum seekers are people who have fled their home countries in pursuit of safety and security.

They have reasonable fear that if they were to stay in their home countries, they would be persecuted for their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or their inclusion in a particular social group. How they aim to secure their safety is the most significant difference between refugees and asylum seekers. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), in 2019 there were 25.9 million refugees, and 3.5 million asylum seekers. On average, 37000 people are forced to flee their homes because of danger per day.

What is World Refugee Day?

To mark the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, in 2001, the United Nations General Assembly declared June 20th to be World Refugee Day.

RCUSA members and partners around the country use the day to help celebrate and honor the vast contributions that refugees make. It is also an opportunity to rally increased welcome and support for refugees.  We invite you to join us in celebrating refugees’ courage in overcoming adversity and the many gifts they bring to our communities across the United States.  Together we can raise awareness about the need for improved policies and services to help refugees rebuild their lives in the United States.

RCUSA 2019 World Refugee Day Materials

This toolkit will provide information for doing local congressional visits, inviting elected officials to your World Refugee Day events, and ways to build champions for refugees protection and resettlement. Learn more and download the toolkit. New in 2019 we have a series of graphics for download and use on social media.


Access the toolkit

You can find a map of all 2019 World Refugee Events happening across the country here. And if your community’s event isn’t up, please submit.

Browse past World Refugee events from 2014, 2015, 2016,  and 2017.