This month countries around the globe will celebrate World Refugee Day on June 20. The first World Refugee Day was 21 years ago, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention.
The Refugee Convention, and the 1967 Protocol, are centered around the principle of non-refoulement, which upholds the basic human right to seek sanctuary in another country and guarantees that nobody should be returned to a country where they would face serious threats to their life or freedom, to include torture, cruel or inhumane treatment, or other irreparable harm. The United States is a signatory to the 1951 Convention.
World Refugee Day calls attention to the more than 100 million people who have been forced to flee their homes around the globe, of which more than 26.4 million are refugees, and half of whom are younger than 18, according to figures published by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
At Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA), we provide case management, job training and placement, housing assistance, and other services to refugees, asylees, and victims of human trafficking, and we provide mental health and psychosocial support to persons seeking asylum and other forms of humanitarian relief. We place unaccompanied refugee children – arriving to our country alone—in safe and loving foster placements through our Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) program. We do this in partnership with all of you.
Celebrate World Refugee Day with us and those we have welcomed to our communities on June 11th. Please join us in Riverdale, Maryland or Alexandria, Virginia- or if you are ambitious, come by both celebrations! We’ll have food, music, games, and activities and it’s a great way to get to know your new neighbors. Please find more information here: https://lssnca.org/about/events.html We hope to see you there!