World Refugee Year

A year-long event orchestrated by the United Nations to raise money for refugees.

Posted: December 4, 2022
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World Refugee Year, which took place from June 1959 - June 1960, was established by the United Nations as an attempt to bring awareness to the large numbers of refugees displaced by World War II and other conflicts. It was also used to encourage adoption of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees. The project was lead by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The United States formed the US Committee for Refugees to help formulate the United States’ approach to the refugee problem.

Many groups held fundraisers to help benefit refugees or the programs providing shelter and goods to them, and other projects took place to raise awareness about refugees and let countries make a statement about their stance on refugees.

About 70 countries participated in World Refugee Year by releasing special World Refugee Year postage stamps on April 7, 1960.

As a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the 1951 convention, the UN established World Refugee Day, which is held on June 20th every year.