Today, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) launched its annual World Refugee Day. Established to further aid the millions of men, women, and children who have been displaced from their homes, World Refugee Day calls upon individual and corporate donors to make a contribution. But the UNHCR also views World Refugee Day as a time to share refugee stories through informational and social media campaigns.
Via the UNHCR website, anyone can sign a pledge reading, “I promise to do what I can to spread the world and tell the stories of refugees so that my friends and family will realize the desperate plight of millions around the world.” Volunteers who sign the pledge will have their name added to the 2012 Angelina Jolie service announcement video. Additionally, the UNHCR has launched Facebook campaigns with the aid of supporting organizations in the hopes of publicizing the day worldwide and across generations.
UN leaders worldwide have also marked the day through events and memorial services. UN Secretary-General Bank Ki-moon emphasized the day’s significance in a public statement, noting, “World Refugee Day is a moment to remember all those affected, and a time to intensify our support…Despite budget constraints everywhere, we must not turn away from those in need. Refugees leave because they have no choice. We must choose to help.”
Angelina Jolie reiterates the Secretary-General’s sense of urgency in the WRD campaign video. Offering the startling statistic that 43 million people have been displaced from their homes, and speaking before a backdrop of documentary footage, Jolie makes an appeal for honoring and aiding refugee victims. Please watch below and help spread the word.
-By Dana McKelvey