World Refugee Day

Canada: A History of Refuge

What does it mean to be a refugee? Learn about refugees who have come to Canada.

From Damascus to Toronto: the story of Mohamed

Mohamed shares his story of coming to Canada after fleeing the war in Syria.

What is World Refugee Day?

Every year on June 20, World Refugee Day gives us a chance to focus the world's attention on:

  • the plight of refugees and displaced people around the world
  • the causes of their exile
  • their resolve and will to survive, and
  • how they contribute to Canada.

Canada is committed to helping refugees and has one of the largest refugee resettlement programs in the world. Read more about the refugee system in Canada.

Read a statement from Ministers McCallum, Joly, and Bibeau marking World Refugee Day.

Stories of former refugees

Canada resettles refugees to save lives and provide stability to people fleeing persecution who have no hope of relief. Learn about people who came to Canada as refugees to build new lives.

Wahlay and Daisy

Former Karen refugees Wahlay and Daisy have made Thunder Bay home and now assist other refugees and newcomers in the community.


Remzi, Chair of the Newfoundland and Labrador Human Rights Commission, fled war-torn Kosovo with his parents in 1999.


Karny, a high school student whose family was recently privately sponsored to come to Canada, jumped right in to help other arriving Syrians.


Resettled in Canada after leaving Laos, Chai is passionate about photography and volunteering.


Safwan, a Syrian refugee who settled in Toronto, lands his first job in his new country.


Fawad, a former Afghani refugee and now proud Canadian citizen, shares his inspirational journey.


Madut, a former Sudanese refugee and now proud Canadian citizen, shares his inspirational journey.


A former refugee from Vietnam, now a family doctor, Nhung recounts how she is giving back to others.


A student and violinist, Edy and his family are looking forward to starting a new life in Canada.


Halaa, a law student, calls the opportunity to come to Canada a dream come true.

Recognizing students' and schools' efforts to #WelcomeRefugees

Across Canada, students, teachers and schools have shown leadership in their communities by helping to #WelcomeRefugees. Read about some of their efforts to create welcoming environments for refugees resettling in Canada.

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