World Refugee Day 2008

As the lead agency for refugees, the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), under the leadership of António Guterres from Portugal, is currently responsible for 32.9 million persons. According to UNHCR, this number includes 9.9 million refugees, 12.8 internally displaced persons (IDPs), and 740,000 asylum-seekers. International protection is the core of UNHCR’s work and includes making sure that the basic human rights of refugees are being met and that nobody is returned involuntarily to a country where he or she has reason to fear persecution.

As every year, the celebration of World Refugee Day will take place on June 20th. The theme is protection – material, social and legal. For more information, please see (please look a little closer to the date because at the time of writing this alert, nothing has been posted yet).

More information about refugee situations around the world can be found at:

  • – Home Page of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; contains basic facts, news, publications, statistic and special events about refugees. The website provides the reader with the necessary information for obtaining a solid background on the topic. Web videos and photo galleries allow the user to feel more acquainted with the situation millions endure. The section of the page titled “How you can help” provides down to earth methods for getting involved in campaigns.

  • – The mission of Jesuit Refugees Services (JRS), an international catholic organization, is to “accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and forcibly displaced people”. Available in French, English and Spanish, the JRS webpage has information about its education projects, social services and development plans in different countries, including Mexico, Brazil, Uganda, and India.

  • – Home page of the humanitarian advocacy organization Refugees International. On this site you can access reports, policy recommendations and advocacy letters on refugee situations in various countries, including in Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, and Uganda. The webpage is updated frequently.