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asylum seekers on fishing boat

World Refugee Day

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2017 there were over 25.4 million refugees worldwide. A refugee is someone who has been recognised as needing protection because of a well-founded fear of being persecuted in their home country on the basis of their race, relation, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.

Every day around the world, groups of people, sometimes entire villages and towns, are forced to flee war, economic hardship, danger and persecution, often at the hands of their own governments. World Refugee Day recognises the bravery and perseverance of the millions of refugees around the globe and demonstrates our support for those in need of a home and security –fundamental human rights.

Refugees are not in the same situation as migrants, although the two groups are often confused. Migrants choose when to leave their country, where they go and when they return. Refugees flee their country for their own safety and cannot return unless the situation that forced them to leave improves.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), is the primary international agency for safeguarding the rights and well-being of refugees around the world. It was established in 1950 by the UN to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide.