WASHINGTON, DC - World Refugee Day 2017 will take place June 20th with celebrations noting the contributions of refugees occurring locally, nationally and globally. The international day provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the global refugee situation and the success of resettled refugees. The world is experiencing the largest forced migration crisis since World War II with more than 65 million people forcibly displaced from their homes, including 21 million refugees worldwide.
"World Refugee Day is a day where we highlight the achievements of refugees. Refugees are like all people, unique children of God," said Bill Canny, Executive Director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Migration and Refugee Services. "We hope to see this year's celebration of World Refugee Day create greater awareness and appreciation on both the community and national level."
As part of the 2017 World Refugee Day celebration, the USCCB will be hosting a World Refugee Day Kick - Off event at the National Press Club on Monday, June 19th, featuring Bishop Mario Dorsonville of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC and Admiral Garry Hall, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for International Organizations and Alliances, National Security Council. Additionally there will be two panels, one which focuses on the domestic aspects of refugee resettlement and the other which highlights the international protection needs of refugees.
This year will be the 17th year that the United Nations has officially recognized June 20th as World Refugee Day. Many nations around the globe celebrated World Refugee Day prior to 2001, with one of the most widespread events being Africa Refugee Day, which had been celebrated on June 20.