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UNHCR Events

UNHCR Events
© UNHCR/G. Kotschy

Celebrating Refugees and their Supporters

Every year, UNHCR holds special events to recognize refugees and those dedicated to helping them.


World Refugee Day 

First marked in 2001, World Refugee Day is held every year on June 20. Tens of thousands of people around the world take time to recognize and applaud the bravery and suffering of people forcibly displaced throughout the world. This annual commemoration is marked by a variety of events in more than 100 countries, including Central Europe, where people of all types – government officials, NGOs and humanitarian workers, celebrities, citizens, and the forcibly displaced themselves – come together and show their support. 

Nansen Refugee Award 

This annual award is named after the late great Norwegian polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who was appointed the first High Commissioner for Refugees by the UN’s predecessor, the League of Nations, in 1921. The Nansen Award, consisting of a medal and a US$100,000 monetary prize, is given out each October to a person or group for outstanding services in supporting refugee causes.


World Refugee Day events - 2013

Marked each year on June 20. Find out all about this year's World Refugee Day here.

Nansen Refugee Award

Given every year to individuals or organizations for outstanding service in the cause of refugees.


50th, 60th and 150th – learn what anniversaries UNHCR celebrated in 2011. 

Other special events

Get involved in other special events with us. Find out more.

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