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World Refugee Day 2016

World Refugee Day 2016

What exactly is a refugee?  What does it mean to seek asylum? There are different types of Displaced People, but all share the desire for stability and a place to call home. Every minute eight people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror.


A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.

Developing countries host four-fifths of the world’s refugees. The 48 Least Developed Countries provide asylum to 2.3 million refugees.

Asylum seekers

Asylum seekers say they are refugees and have fled their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.

Internally Displaced Persons

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people who have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.

Stateless Persons

Stateless persons do not have a recognized nationality and do not belong to any country.

Statelessness situations are usually caused by discrimination against certain groups. Their lack of identification — a citizenship certificate — can exclude them from access to important government services, including health care, education or employment.


Returnees are former refugees who return to their own countries or regions of origin after time in exile. Returnees need continuous support and reintegration assistance to ensure that they can rebuild their lives at home.

Descriptions as defined by the United Nations

What can you do to help Displaced Persons?

  • Host a #RefugeesWelcome dinner to support new Americans living in your community.Organizing details and ideas.
  • Watch the Episcopal Migration Ministries and Episcopal Public Policy Network #RefugeesWelcome World Refugee Day planning webinar.
  • Join Episcopal Migration Ministries and Episcopal Public Policy Network for a World Refugee Day educational webinar at 7 pm Eastern on June 20 to learn more about the refugee crisis, U.S. resettlement, and how you can be involved in creating a welcoming community for new Americans. Register here. 
  • Celebrate World Refugee Day with your congregation. Plan a special event.
  • Follow Episcopal Migration Ministries and Episcopal Public Policy Network on Facebook and Twitter and watch for social media posts supporting #RefugeesWelcome and the innovative #MyNameIs campaign to support welcome and hospitality for refugees.
  • Join the Episcopal Public Policy Network to learn more about how you can work with local and elected leaders to support refugees.

Suggestions for helping Displaced Persons from the Episcopal Church


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