Foreign Policy Blogs

World Refugee Day, June 20th


Photo: Karel Prinsloo – AP

There are 12 million refugees, as of 2005, and an additional 21 million Internally displaced persons scattered across the globe today, approximately 44% of which are children.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 20th, 2007 is World Refugee Day, a day set to honor the plight and resilient struggle of refugees around the world. World Refugee Day was created on December 4, 2000, by the United Nations General Assembly, to demonstrate a sign of unity with Africa and coincide with its predecessor, African Refugee
Day. The day is a day to raise awareness to the millions of refuges, many of which have, and continue to live their lives in a harsh, uncertain and unstable environment.

Whether they are from Sudan to Palestine, Bosnia to Burundi, Afghanistan to the Congo, the feeling of isolation and despair remains the same for refugees. Millions of people have spent endless years in refugee camps, children are born in refugee camps and know no other life outside that of a camp. Other children live with haunting memories of a life before war, when there families where happy and whole, now they anguish over the unknown future that lies before them, the future they must make alone. The struggles of a refugee are more than that of food, health care and education, but also of rebuilding a future in their home counties. Take this day to look at refugees for what they really are, people forced from their homes, torn from their families, children whom war has made orphans, mothers trying to care for dying children, but most of all they are people who only want once again to have normal lives.

The Paths of Refugees


For more information on the situation and struggles of refugees around the world, please see the Migration blog, by my esteemed colleagues Cathryn Culver and Richard Basas.


World Refugee Day Events in 2007

World Refugee Survey 2006

International Rescue Committee (IRC)

IRC World Refugee Events

The Refugee Highway – Blog

The Refuge Council USA

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Refugees International

Refugee Stories

European Council on Refugees and Exiles

UK Refugee Council



Cassandra Clifford

Cassandra Clifford is the Founder and Executive Director of Bridge to Freedom Foundation, which works to enhance and improve the services and opportunities available to survivors of modern slavery. She holds an M.A., International Relations from Dublin City University in Ireland, as well as a B.A., Marketing and A.S., Fashion Merchandise/Marketing from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Cassandra has previously worked in both the corporate and charity sector for various industries and causes, including; Child Trafficking, Learning Disabilities, Publishing, Marketing, Public Relations and Fashion. Currently Cassandra is conducting independent research on the use of rape as a weapon of war, as well as America’s Pimp Culture and its Impact on Modern Slavery. In addition to her many purists Cassandra is also working to develop a series of children’s books.

Cassandra currently resides in the Washington, D.C. metro area, where she also writes for the Examiner, as the DC Human Rights Examiner, and serves as an active leadership member of DC Stop Modern Slavery.

Areas of Focus:
Children's Rights; Human Rights; Conflict