Sunday June 20 is World Refugee Day.
The UN Refugee Agency provides the following definitions of refugees:
- A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee their country due to persecution, war or violence.
- An internally displaced person has been forced to flee their home for the same reasons as a refugee but remains in their country.
- An asylum seeker is a refugee who has applied for sanctuary in another country, thereby requesting legal protection and material assistance.
- A stateless person is not a citizen of any country, leaving them without certain political, economic and social rights.
According to Amnesty International, there are an estimated 14.2 million refugees in the world, and 24.5 million internally displaced persons. In 2009, only 250,000 people were able to return home, the lowest number in two decades.
United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie recorded a 30-second spot to remind you to commemorate World Refugee Day:
Watch a video about the plight of internally displaced persons in Pakistan, and sign the petition to tell President Obama to take into account their humanitarian needs by clicking here.