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The United Nations' (UN) World Refugee Day is observed on June 20 each year. This event honors the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence.

"Our responses to refugees must be grounded in our shared values of responsibility sharing, non-discrimination, and human rights and in international refugee law, including the principle of non-refoulement." — UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

In a world where violence forces hundreds of families to flee each day, the UN Refugee Agency believes now is the time to show world leaders that the global public stands with refugees, and it will launch its #WithRefugees petition on June 20th to send a message to governments that they must work together and do their fair share for refugees.

The #WithRefugees petition will be delivered to UN headquarters in New York ahead of the UN High Level Meeting on Refugees and Migrants, scheduled for the 19th September. The petition asks governments to:

  • Ensure every refugee child gets an education.
  • Ensure every refugee family has somewhere safe to live.
  • Ensure every refugee can work or learn new skills to make a positive contribution
    to their community.

World Refugee Day has been marked on 20 June, ever since the UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June.

  • In 2015, the world had 65.3 million people who had been forcibly displaced from their homes, the highest ever number on record, according to the United Nations High Commissioner.
  • The record figures for 2015 were released on June 20, which also marks World Refugee Day, and showed an increase of 5.8 million displaced people compared to the year before.
  • The total of 65.3 million people includes internally displaced people (those who left their homes but stayed within their own country) as well as refugees seeking asylum in other countries.
  • About 40.8 million people, were categorized as internally displaced, while almost 21.3 million, were classified as refugees. The remaining 3.2 million people were waiting for their asylum applications to be processed, mostly in Western countries.


NRIs commemorate World Refugee Day in LA 

Los Angeles. June 26, 2016 Singh

“On June 26, 2016, The United Nations World refugee day was organized at Himalayan Cuisine restaurant, Artesia by Kashmir Hindu Foundation, USA and Jagariti of LA.

 “On the Kashmiri Hindus issue, we always do functions for the two decades but in 2016, it is first time when presentations from representatives of oppressed and occupied nations from a multitude of ethnicities participated in the program,” said Dr. Amrit Nehru, Director, Kashmir Hindu Foundation.  “Some of the speakers at the program were: Dr. Richard Benkin, human rights activist and journalist, Ms. Yangchan Gakyel, President Tibet Association, Dr. Saghir Sheikh, World Sindhi Association and Aziz Baloch, Coordinator, International Voice for Baloch Missing Persons(IVBMP), Canada.”

Dr. Pravin Syal, master of ceremonies for the event: The program was started with a hymn to the Mother Land -Vande Mataram by Dr. Rangaesh Gadasalli. Pravin introduced speakers and also thanked Dr. Amrit Nehru, Director of Kashmir Hindu Foundation, USA and Kamlesh Chauhan of Jagriti.


Dr. Amrit Nehru, Director, Kashmir Hindu Foundation, USA is a human rights activist and coordinator of the Voice for Kashmiri Hindus. Dr Nehru spoke about the violent expulsion of Kashmiri Hindus from Kashmir at the behest of Pakistani terror machinery and  we need to work together to rehabilitate our homes, because home is where the heart.

Dr. Amrit Nehru in his speech, also paid rich tributes to Guru Teg Bhadhurji maharaj for saving the community from annihilation by Aurangzeb's forces. ....CLICK HERE

Aziz Baloch, human rights activist, coordinator of the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) from Baluchistan spoke about atrocities being inflicted upon its people and thousands of Bloch youth being missing. He talked about his Baluchistan being a Free Sovereign state and demanded Indians to give moral support in regaining the Bloch sovereignty. The Pakistan army, its notorious intelligence agency ISI and institutions are also backing dangerous extremist groups. A multitude of state endorsed extremists and radical groups with different names are killing minorities such as Shia Hazara, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Ahmadiyas, and Zikri.

Dr Saghir Ahemed Shaikh, general secretary of World Sindh congress spoke about the conditions of Sindhi population in Sindh. He started with the quote from great Sindh Poet "Shahlateef'. He said like the Bloch people Sindhi's are secular by nature and hegemony of Punjab and Punjabi army has bought in miseries more to Hindu Sindhi's with their Kidnappings, Conversions ext. He demanded self determination for the people and claims peaceful region after Bloch and Sindh are resolved.

Ms. Yangchan Gakyel, President Tibet Association, spoke about "What it means to be a refugee" and narrated story of her parents who had to flee Tibet in 1959 and seek refuge in India.
Kamlesh Chauhan spoke thus, "China has to be out of Balochistan, Pakistan has to give the land back to the original natives of Balochistan and China has to free Tibet." The audience enthusiastically participated in several panel discussions.

Richard  Benkin  well-known Human Rights activists and  journalist spoke about Bangladesh. Benkin is a well-known Human Rights activists who has researched and written books about the atrocities committed in Bangladesh against the Hindus.

“We must meet to take action and create concrete results,” said Benkin as a way to move forward. Meeting just to talk and raise awareness has no point unless it results in appropriate actions that can be taken in the right direction, was one of the many points Benkin made. 

Benkin read a letter he received from Congressman Ed Royce, who expressed his support for the World Refugee Day. Ed Royce,  a Chairman, House Foreign affairs committee sent a message  to the organizers. “ It is significant that you are coming together to commend refugees that flee violence and seek the safety of the United States. This meeting and the ongoing efforts are not only beneficial to the Kashmiri Hindu community but also the international community as a whole."

Kamlesh Chauhan spoke thus, "China has to be out of Balochistan, Pakistan has to give the land back to the original natives of Balochistan and China has to free Tibet." The audience enthusiastically participated in several panel discussions.

K.Chauhan invited  Col. Rajinder Singh Sohi, an Indian army officer who served for about 23 years, to come on stage. She thanked him for his services and presented him with a plaque.