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World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day is an international day designated on June 20 by the United Nations to honor refugees — including asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, stateless persons, and returnees — by celebrating the strength of people who have been forced to flee their homes to escape conflict or persecution.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, more than 114 million people were forcibly displaced globally by the end of 2023. Solidarity with people forced to flee also means finding solutions to their plight — ending conflicts so they can return home in safety, ensuring opportunities to thrive in the communities that have welcomed them, and providing local communities with the resources they need to include and support refugees.

Over the decades, and most recently, Boston and Massachusetts have welcomed refugees, migrants, asylees, and persons displaced from Afghanistan, Cambodia, Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Rwanda, El Salvador, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine, Venezuela, Vietnam, and many other places of origin.

The City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and community organizations have long committed to providing direct services to help refugees transition to stability through the provision of English classes, citizenship classes, job training, legal services, and more.

This week, the Council adopted a resolution recognizing June 20, 2024, as World Refugee Day in the City of Boston.

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