Sharon Daley, Queensland Council of Social Service

Did you know that every minute 20 people leave everything they have behind in order to escape war, persecution or terror?

The United Nations has marked 20 June as World Refugee Day and it is on this day that, 'we commemorate the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees.'

This year, World Refugee Day also marks a key moment for the public to show support for families forced to flee. The theme this year is #WithRefugees.

There is a petition the UN Refugee Agency launched you can sign here to be part of a message to governments that they must work in partnership and do their share for refugees.

In Australia, Refugee Week (17-23 June 2018) is the peak annual activity aimed at informing the public about refugees and to celebrate all the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society.

Celebrating Refugee Week provides a platform where positive images of refugees can be promoted in order to create a culture of welcome throughout the country. It is hoped that such a celebration will create a better understanding between different communities and to encourage successful integration enabling refugees to live in safety and to continue making a valuable contribution to Australia.

The week provides an important opportunity for asylum seekers and refugees to be seen, listened to and valued.

There are events happening across the country to mark the week, and you can host your own event and add it to the website.

The Community Refugee Sponsorship Initiative is a movement to welcome refugees into our community. They campaign on their site:

'We know that Australians have big hearts, and welcome people from all over the globe. We’re simply asking for a system that allows that generosity to flourish, and welcomes refugees into our communities.'

Find out more about Refugee Week and how to get involved.

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