“What do we live for if not to make the world less difficult for each other” – George Eliot

The United Nations General Assembly established 20 June as World Refugee Day in 2001, and since then it has been celebrated around the world each year as a salute to the indomitable spirit and courage of the world’s refugees.

“The refugee challenge in the 21st century is changing rapidly. People are forced to flee their homes for increasingly complicated and interlinked reasons. Some 40 million people worldwide are already uprooted by violence and persecution, and it is likely that the future will see more people on the run as a growing number of push factors compound one another to create conditions for further forced displacement.

Today people do not just flee persecution and war but also injustice, exclusion, environmental pressures, competition for scarce resources and all the miserable human consequences of dysfunctional states.

The task facing the international community in this new environment is to find ways to unlock the potential of refugees who have so much to offer if they are given the opportunity to regain control over their lives.”

“If you’d like to celebrate World Refugee Day, get in touch with your local organization working to help refugees or organise an event yourself.”