World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day 2017 message


A message from the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, on World Refugee Day 2017.

A New Life in Canada


A chef, a builder, a scholar and their families had their lives torn apart by the conflict in Syria. Listen to their stories as they start their new lives in Canada.

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 Hussen, Freeland, Joly and Bibeau marking World Refugee Day.

World Refugee Day on social media

Watch “Syrian children discover hockey”

Week after week a hockey program in Gloucester, Ottawa grows, as Syrian children get excited about learning to play. Watch as the program director finds ways to attract new players every week, and children learn to skate together.

A full transcript of this video is available.

Stories of Refugees

Former refugees share their inspirational stories about coming to Canada.

In Their Own Words

Get to know twenty-three refugees resettled in Canada from a variety of countries around the world.

What’s your #WRD2017 story?

Spread the word about World Refugee Day by using #WRD2017 on Twitter and Instagram!

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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