World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day, observed on June 20th each year, is dedicated to raising the awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world. It draws the public's attention to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution. It aims to show them that together we can work to end the crisis and help them to find safe and happy homes.
Across the world there are currently over 65 million people who have had to leave their homes. This means that nearly one in 100 people in the world is a displaced person or refugee. We are now facing the worst refugee crisis in history. The number of refugees has doubled in the last twenty years. The situation is clearly worse in some countries than in others. Fifty-five per cent of refugees worldwide come from Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan. Since the start of the war, more than 5.6 million Syrians have escaped the country and 6.1 million are still living in Syria but have had to leave their homes. Around half of these 11 million people are children.
There are a lot of events on 20 June in different countries. Many famous landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York, are covered in blue lights, the colour of the United Nations. In Glasgow, Scotland, people hold hands to form an enormous human chain around George Square, in the city centre, to ‘show the world that Scotland welcomes refugees’. In many places there are film showings, exhibitions and various fundraising events.