World Refugee Day:Significance, History,Theme and facts

The people who have been forced to migrate from their country because of violence, persecution, political or religious reasons, not enough food, war, etc, and have crossed an international border to enter another country in search of food and safety are referred to as Refugees.

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day is observed every year on 20th June across the globe. On this day , people are made aware of the pathetic condition of refugees and are also encouraged to help refugees in every possible manner. It is estimated that per day more than 37,000 are forced to flee from their country due to persecution and conflict.

Why is Refugee Day celebrated?

There are numerous refugees residing all across the world. People who had fled from their native country due to lingering threats, persecution, shortage of basic amenities, natural disasters, war, etc to settle in another country are considered refugees. some countries accept the refugees and give them Asylum while few countries kick them out of their country borders. Refugees may get shelter in some countries but they don’t get the respect and entitlement that they deserve as a human. The main purpose of celebrating World Refugee Day is to show respect for the determination courage and strength of the refugee.

The theme of World Refugee Day 2023

As per UNHCR, the theme for this year is ‘Hope away from home‘.

History of World refugee Day

In 2001, Wold Refugee day was celebrated for the first time on the 50th Anniversary of the 1951 Refugee convention associated with the status of Refugees. The United Nations general assembly, therefore, decided to celebrate the 20th of June as a refugee day every year from 2001 onwards. UNHRC is an organization of the united nations that take care of Refugees.

What is UNHCR?

The full form of UNHCR is United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It was established in 1950, after the Second World war to help and support millions of European who had fled or lost their homes. UNHCR won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 for its revolutionary work in Europe.

Cause of the Refugee crisis


Various types of persecution persist that lead to the Refugee crisis. This consist of Religious, social, political, and racial persecution. This is the more potent cause that force people to become a refugee. Religious persecution persists almost everywhere, from the Dalai Lama to Myanmar Muslims. More than 900,000 Muslims have been displaced from Myanmar since 2017.

Direct or indirect War:

Most people fled their country due to direct or indirect war. In the 20th century, the first major international refugee crisis occurred after the second world war.

Climate Change:

As per UNHCR, Climate change plays a major role in the Refugee crisis. Environmental degradation and natural disaster forced people to displace in search of food and water in other countries. It is estimated that due to climate-related reasons such as drought, flood, cyclones, storms, landslides, etc more than 16.1 million people have left their country last year itself.

Human right Violation:

Economic disparity causes the violation of human rights, mainly the rich and powerful community of a country often exploits poor people. consistent human rights violation of poor people leads to either internal or external displacement that brings a lot of social and economic burden on the refugee and the country aiding them. So Human right violation is a big concern that needs to be addressed to solve the refugee crisis

Poverty and Unemployment:

Financial instability, lack of access to food and health care, unemployment, uncontrolled inflation, and poverty are the major cause that bound people to leave their native country and become refugees in search of their basic amenities. Venezuela crisis is an example where more than 4 million people were displaced from Venezuela to another country since 2015 after being tired of poverty and starvation.

Gender Orientation:

Same-gender relation is criminalized in around 77 countries and 7 countries punish it with the death penalty. So such peoples living in these countries where same-gender relationships are an offense often go through death threats, violence, discrimination and remain in constant fear. Therefore, people who indulge in same-sex relationships often fled to the country that provides Asylum and accepts LGBT people with open arms.

Impact of the Refugee crisis

  1. Human right Violation
  2. Human Trafficking
  3. Identity Crisis
  4. Threat to National Security (Terrorism)
  5. political instability
  6. Increase in population.
  7. Anarchy

Apart from this, refugees have to face many difficulties along the way, in which they also lose their lives.

Convention for the Refugee Crisis

The Convention of 1951 is one such international law that defines the refugee. According to this convention, the countries that sign it must comply with all laws of protection, aid, and social rights of asylum-seekers.

India has neither signed the Refugee Convention 1951 nor the Protocol to the Refugee Convention 1967.

Matters related to the Refugee Crisis in India

  • Refugees after the partition of India
  • Tibetan refugee.
  • Bangladeshi refugee.
  • Afghanistan refugee
  • Srilankan Tamil Refugees
  • Rohingya Refugees
  • Chakma and Hajong Refugee.

Refugees after the partition of India

During the partition of India and Pakistan, it was allowed any person can settle in any of the two countries of his own free will. But when Pakistan forced the Sikhs to escape from there, they were forced to come to India as refugees, but now these people are Indian citizens.

Tibetan Refugee

The Dalai Lama came to India after the failure of the Tibetan rebellion in 1959. At that time he came to India with about 1 lakh Tibetan refugees.

Bangladeshi Refugee.

During the 1971 invasion of East Pakistan by West Pakistan, more than one million Bangladeshi citizens took shelter in India. According to the central government report in 2012, there are more than 80 thousand Bangladeshi citizens living as refugees in India.

Afghanistan Refugee

Between 1979 to 1989, more than 60,000 Afghanistan citizens had taken shelter in India. They had come to India after the soviet union invaded Afghanistan. Small groups of Afghan refugees still coming to India. According to the UNHRC website, many Hindu and Sikh Afghans who fled their homes in the early 1990s have been granted citizenship over the past decade. According to the report of the World Bank and UNHCR, there are currently more than 200,000 Afghan refugees in India.

Srilankan Tamil Refugees

Sri Lankan refugees are also among the large group of refugees in India. These refugees immigrated to India due to events such as the Black July riots of 183 and the discrimination policies continued by the Srilankan bloody civil War. For the first time between 1983 and 1987, more than 1.34 lakh Sri Lankan Tamils ​​came to India by crossing the Palk Strait. These people are living in Chennai, Tiruchirapalli, and Coimbatore in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in Bangalore, the capital of Karnataka, and in Kerala.

Rohingya refugees

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, there are about 40,000 Rohingyas living in India, who have reached India from Bangladesh via land route. The Indian government has classified the Rohingya as illegal migrants and a security threat. Along with this, India has also appealed to Myanmar to take back the Rohingya.

Chakma and Hajong Refugee.

The Chakmas belong to the Buddhist community while the Hojongs belong to the tribal community. Chakma and Hojong refugees are coming to India for the last 5 decades. Chakma and Hojong Sarathi are living in the region of West Bengal and the North East. As of the 2011 population index, 47,471 Chakmas live in Arunachal Pradesh alone. However, in the year 2015, the Supreme Court of India directed the Center to give citizenship to Chakma and Hojong Refugees.

So world Refugee Day is celebrated on 20 June every year to raise awareness about the condition of Refugees all over the world and Urges the wealthy nation to extend their support and help them financially to settle down. Treat refugees as human, give them their rights, grant them the right to work to meet their livelihood, and provide them education and healthcare.

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