World Refugee Day 2017

Every minute, 24 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror.

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World Refugee Day marks the need to show support to refugees all over the world, to stand with them in their plight, and honour the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

In a world struggling to overcome war and conflict—where there is mass displacement of people—volunteerism plays a pivotal role in ensuring the delivery and sustainability in UN peace interventions and humanitarian assistance provided to people in transition or crisis. In the words of a serving UN Volunteer, “Anyone can be a refugee and that is the stark reality the world has to come to terms with.”

We mark this day with a special feature on the contributions of UN Volunteers working directly with refugees and asylum seekers, showing through photography and video the impacts that volunteering can have on the lives of people who were forced to leave everything behind.

Voices from the field



In Uganda, a UN Volunteer empowers refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Photo galleries: UN Volunteers supporting refugees in Thailand and Greece


#WithRefugees campaign, Iraq

UNV's response to the Syria crisis

UN agencies work to protect and assist refugees everywhere


In 2014, the number of refugees rose to 14.4 million. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) provides much-needed protection to refugees. This includes safety from being returned to danger, access... Read more


Syria is experiencing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), along with its partners, is deploying dignity kits, reproductive health kits and equipment, and medical personnel to.... Read more


Migration and forced displacement are long-term issues that require long-term solutions. In different contexts, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has long worked on migration and... Read more      Sixty-five million children around the world are on the move, looking for a better life and a place to call home. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is working on the ground to ensure that the rights of all children... Read more