World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on June 20 and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives. The day was first established on 20 June 2001, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives and shines a light on the rights, needs and dreams of refugees, helping to mobilize political will and resources so refugees can not only survive but also thrive. While it is important to protect and improve the lives of refugees every single day, international days like World Refugee Day help to focus global attention on the plight of those fleeing conflict or persecution. Many activities held on World Refugee Day create opportunities to support refugees.
This year the University of Cape Town Refugee Rights Unit (RRU) is celebrating World Refugee Day by distributing practical guides that are intended to assist refugees, legal practitioners, social workers and government officials in understanding and ensuring the rights of refugees are respected.
The three guides developed by the Unit are the Children’s Rights Manual, Detention Manual and Refugee Status Determination Manual. Each guide provides important information on the rights of refugees and how to navigate the complicated asylum system in South Africa