Join us in celebrating 70 years of protecting refugees

This summer marks the 70th anniversary of the 1951 Refugee Convention. Help us mark 70 years of protecting those forced to flee by finishing the sentence, “A refugee is…”

Photo: © UNHCR / Roger Arnold

Share your definition

We’ve teamed up with lexicographer and refugee supporter Susie Dent to pay homage to the myriad of people, stories and experiences that make up the word “refugee.”

But, first, a brief history lesson… The 1951 Refugee Convention provided the first legal definition of who a refugee is and has protected the human rights of people fleeing conflict and persecution ever since. 

What are we looking for? Just a short line that celebrates the lives of people who have sought refuge. This could be anything from your own personal experience or that of a refugee you met or have been inspired by. You can even submit the experiences of a family member or friend. 

We’ll collect all the definitions received from our supporters and commemorate these in a book – The Refugee Dictionary – which only defines the word “refugee.  

We look forward to reading your definitions!  

Photo: © UK for UNHCR

Photo: © UK for UNHCR

We’ve teamed up with lexicographer and refugee supporter Susie Dent to pay homage to the myriad of people, stories and experiences that make up the word “refugee.”

But, first, a brief history lesson… The 1951 Refugee Convention provided the first legal definition of who a refugee is and has protected the human rights of people fleeing conflict and persecution ever since. 

What are we looking for? Just a short line that celebrates the lives of people who have sought refuge. This could be anything from your own personal experience or that of a refugee you met or have been inspired by. You can even submit the experiences of a family member or friend. 

We’ll collect all the definitions received from our supporters and commemorate these in a book – The Refugee Dictionary – which only defines the word “refugee.  

We look forward to reading your definitions!  

“A refugee is a human being with hopes and dreams like everyone else. A refugee can be anyone, like a pilot flying your plane – a pilot like me!”

-Maya, London

Photo: © UNHCR / Lana Corrine

Maya Ghazal

© UNHCR

“A refugee is a human being with hopes and dreams like everyone else. A refugee can be anyone, like a pilot flying your plane – a pilot like me!”

-Maya, London

What does the word “refugee” mean to you?   

The 1951 Refugee Convention enshrines the right of people fleeing the horrors of conflict and persecution to seek refuge in another country. It defines who is a refugee under international law. 

To mark the 70th Anniversary of these human rights, we are calling on the public to show they stand with refugees and submit their own definitions. 

As a committed advocate and champion for refugees, we’re asking you to share what “refugee” means to you and help us create a public record of support for refugees during this anniversary year. As well as creating a national record of solidarity, the final work, including your definition, will be presented to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and become a cultural reference for the word “Refugee” in 2021.

 

  • Yes, I stand with refugees and their right to protection under the Refugee Convention.
  • Tick below if you’d like to hear more about your submission, as well as the latest news on refugee issues and how you can support our work.
Definitions will be printed in our dictionary with your first name & location, learn more in our terms and conditions. For more information on how we use personal data, or to update your preferences, learn more in our privacy policy.

 

 

“Someone who brings good and bad memories from home but leaves them behind and looks to the future in a new country with hope.

-Lord Alf Dubs

Photo: © UNHCR

© UNHCR

“Someone who brings good and bad memories from home but leaves them behind and looks to the future in a new country with hope.

-Lord Alf Dubs

“My gifted friend, my collaborator, my teacher, my inspiration”

-Helen Storey

© UNHCR

“My gifted friend, my collaborator, my teacher, my inspiration”

-Helen Storey

“A doting dad who always finds the joy in everyday moments.”

Photo: © UNHCR

© UNHCR

“A doting dad who always finds the joy in everyday moments.”

Photo: © UNHCR

“A grandmother who is the life of the party; always first on the dancefloor and last one to leave!”

-Shazia, London

Photo: © UK for UNHCR

“A grandmother who is the life of the party; always first on the dancefloor and last one to leave!”

-Shazia, London

© UK for UNHCR

“A father passing down his top-secret recipe from one generation to the next.

Photo: © UNHCR / Szabo

© UNHCR

“A father passing down his top-secret recipe from one generation to the next.

Photo: © UNHCR / Szabo

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