DCSIMG

News Archives






Secretary Clinton on World Refugee Day

On this World Refugee Day, we pause to reflect on how far we have come over the last 60 years since the world’s first convention on refugees, and recommit ourselves to saving more refugees and survivors of conflict and persecution. Around the world, there are still over 15 million refugees who have been uprooted from their homes and forced to live in difficult and in many cases unacceptable conditions. As events in Syria, Libya, and Cote d’Ivoire evolve, we are reminded that refugee protection presents new and ongoing challenges that we must continually strive to meet.

The United States has a history of upholding human rights and humanitarian principles. For decades we have led the world in overseas support for humanitarian protection and assistance, and we have provided asylum and refugee resettlement for millions. In doing so, we show through example our dedication to basic human decency, to our responsibilities under international law, and – along with the rest of the international community – to ensuring refuge when innocent lives hang in the balance. We do this because our country’s values must be a critical component of our foreign policy.

On this World Refugee Day, the United States and the Obama Administration reaffirms these core values as we work to provide a safe haven to the world’s most vulnerable citizens – refugees.

 


Statement by the President on World Refugee Day

As we mark World Refugee Day, I join with people around the globe in highlighting the plight of the 15 million refugees in the world today, and we reaffirm our commitment to support them as they seek a safe place to call home again. In particular, we honor the courage of those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes, including men, women and children in Libya, Syria, Cote d’Ivoire who remind us that somewhere in the world, refugees are forced to flee their homes virtually every day.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees – a landmark achievement of international law that sets forth certain rights of refugees and legal obligations of States relating to refugees. Hundreds of thousands – and probably millions – of people around the world are alive today thanks to the help and protection they received from the international community when they were forced to flee their countries to escape violence, oppression, abuse, and other forms of persecution.

This year is also the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. In at least 30 countries, nationality laws discriminate against women and limit their ability to acquire and transmit citizenship to their children or spouses, which can lead to statelessness. The United States will continue to work to empower women and girls and ensure opportunities for displaced and stateless women throughout the world.

Our values and our interests dictate that the protection of the most vulnerable is a critical component of our foreign policy. We have a moral imperative to save lives. We also have interest in sustaining U.S. leadership, which enables us to drive the development of international humanitarian principles, programs, and policies like no other government in the world. Such efforts promote reconciliation, security, and well-being in circumstances where despair and misery threaten stability and critical U.S. national security interests.

 


African Refugee Map

On the occasion of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) “World Refugee Day”, June 20, this map was created by the Department of State’s Humanitarian Information Unit. The map illustrates the country of origin, and the destination country, for all current refugee populations in Sub-Saharan Africa greater than 1,000 persons in magnitude. Click the image below for a full-sized example:

Africa Refugee Map. Created by the Department of State’s Humanitarian Information Unit. http://hiu.state.gov/

Africa Refugee Map. Created by the Department of State’s Humanitarian Information Unit. http://hiu.state.gov/

 


Statement by Ambassador Rice on World Refugee Day

On World Refugee Day, the United States renews our commitment to providing relief to the world’s refugees and commends the world’s brave humanitarians, who take daily risks to administer food, shelter and medicine to those who desperately need help. We stand with them and with millions worldwide who seek basic safety and security in which to live and work.

Sixty years ago, the world’s leaders gathered to affirm the basic principle that those who flee persecution deserve refuge. The 1951 Refugee Convention stands as a landmark in defining the rights of refugees and the obligations of states to protect them. Together with the important work of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Convention reminds us that those who may lack protections due to conflict or repression still deserve recognition of their full rights and human dignity.

 


African refugee map

On the occasion of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) “World Refugee Day”, June 20, this map was created by the Department of State’s Humanitarian Information Unit. The map illustrates the country of origin, and the destination country, for all current refugee populations in Sub-Saharan Africa greater than 1,000 persons in magnitude. Click the image below for a full-sized example:
African refugee map

 
 

Disclaimer: The Office of Policy Planning and Public Diplomacy, in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, of the U.S. Department of State manages this site as a portal for international human rights related information from the United States Government. External links to other internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.