World Refugee Day 2013

June 20th is the day designated by the UN to commemorate the strength and resilience of the more than 45 million people around the world forced to flee their homes due to war or persecution.

Multiple refugee emergencies have forced record numbers of people to flee in 2013 – yet the vast majority of media coverage given over to the conflicts in Syria, Mali, South Sudan and DRC, rarely focuses on the human cost of war. When families are forced to flee they may have only a minute to gather what they need to escape the violence. UNHCR's World Refugee Day campaign “1 family” aims asks you what it would be like to take your family and flee — leaving everything behind. We're asking the public to make the same perilous journey - if only for a moment - by contemplating what they would take if forced to flee.

You can view what others would choose to take if forced to flee, including UNHCR celebrity ambassadors, on our Pinterest board

Why don't you take this perilous journey - if only for a moment - and add your photo with you item of choice to our Pinterest board?

Children around the country in Ireland were asked what they would take. Here are some of their suggestions...

Mary, 9, would take "fotos of all my family"

Ashleigh, 13, would take "my phone"

Muireann, 8, would take "Duffy Bear"

Sarah, 7, would take "clothes"

Lucy, 10, would take "a friend"

For more on what children around Ireland would take if forced to flee see the UNHCR Ireland Facebook Page

Family Reunification in Ireland

The focus this year on the pain of being torn from your family by war was hilghlighted in the story of Shamso, a Somali lady separated from her family, including five children, during the height of conflict in Somalia. Shamso arrived in Ireland and, through the work of a local nurse and UNHCR Ireland, eventually located her children in Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. Shamso's story was told on June 20 on RTE's Prime Time. 

RTE's PRIME TIME, Thursday June 20, 2013

World Refugee Day in the News

This year on World Refugee Day the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres wrote in the Irish Times on the role states can play, including Ireland, in protecting those fleeing from Syria.

His piece can be read here.  

Global Trends 2012 and Mid-Year Review 2013

An extensive piece on the UNHCR Global Trends report can be read in the Irish Times here. Speaking on RTE's Morning Ireland Sophie Magennis, Head of Office UNHCR Ireland, discussed the rising number of refugees. To listen back to the piece, please click here.

Download a copy of Global Trends 2012 here (pdf).  

Download a copy of the Mid-Year Review 2013 here


UNHCR Ireland on the airwaves

Our External Relations Intern, Aileen Lee, produced our World Refugee Day 2013 radio special, which aired on Near FM, in Dublin. You can listen back to her interviews here with two refugees now living in Ireland with their families - Hassan Faramarz from Iran and Ludmila Burcovschi from Moldova.