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 2020 over 70 million people had been forcibly displaced, including 25.9 million refugees, and 3.9 million asylum seekers. On average, 37,000 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 2020 World Refugee Day Materials

This toolkit will provide information for hosting virtual events and meetings with policy makers, and ways to build champions for refugees protection and resettlement. Learn more and download the toolkit.


Access the toolkit

You can find a map of all 2020 virtual World Refugee Day events happening across the country here. If you’re planning an action or virtual event, you can submit!

Browse past World Refugee events from 2014, 2015, 2016,  2017, and 2019.

Tell Congress: Cosponsor Bipartisan Resolution on Refugees

As we approach World Refugee Day on Saturday, June 20th, now is the time to make your voices heard to tell your Members of Congress to stand in solidarity with refugees and support the bipartisan resettlement program. During this difficult time, crises test who we are as a nation. In recognition of the sacrifice, resilience, and contributions of refugees - including the hundreds of thousands of refugees working on the front lines of pandemic response - now is the time to make your voice heard. Ask your members of congress to cosponsor the bipartisan resolution commemorating 40 years of the refugee program and World Refugee Day.

Take Action