RCUSA Statement on World Refugee Day 2022

Washington, DC – On June 20th, communities around the world celebrated World Refugee Day, honoring refugees and raising awareness of the need for each country to protect those who have been forcibly displaced.

The number of displaced people has surpassed 100 million for the first time in history. There have been mass mobilizations in support of Afghan evacuees and Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion. But vulnerable people seeking safety have been met with violence along borders, including Syrian refugees attempting to cross from Belarus into Poland and Haitians seeking to make asylum claims in the United States. Ongoing conflicts in the Tigray region of Ethiopia have left thousands of Eritrean refugees in dire conditions and displace more than three million Ethiopians. Crises in South Sudan continue to displace thousands of children, and it remains the third largest refugee crisis in the world. These are only some of the critical moments we are witnessing.

“RCUSA joins the global community in calling for the unequivocal right to seek safety,” said RCUSA Executive Director John Slocum. “Even as the United States welcomes tens of thousands of Afghans and Ukrainians, we recall that providing refugee protection more broadly is central to our values and interests, and is required of us by domestic and international legal commitments. Along with our partners around the globe, on this World Refugee Day we declare our solidarity with forcibly displaced persons, wherever they may be. We reaffirm that denying the right to seek asylum, the ability to move freely across borders, returning people to unsafe countries–or discriminating against individuals based on their race, religion, or sexuality–undercuts the essential humanity of refugees.”

RCUSA further commends Senator Menendez and Congressman Lieu for championing the 2022 World Refugee Day Resolution, introduced today alongside 87 cosponsors, that commemorates World Refugee Day, reaffirms the importance of the United States to promote the safety, health, and well-being of refugees and displaced persons, and underscores the importance of both the United States refugee resettlement program and asylum systems to provide individuals fleeing violence and persecution a safe place to call home.

Media Contact: Sarah Seniuk, sseniuk@rcusa.org

RCUSA is a diverse coalition advocating for just and humane laws and policies, and the promotion of dialogue and communication among government, civil society, and those who need protection and welcome. Individual RCUSA members do not all address all refugee-related issues, nor do all individual members approach common refugee-related issues identically.