In 2001 a special UN General Assembly Resolution was adopted to declare the former African Refugee Day as the International Refugee Day as an expression of solidarity with Africa, which hosts the most refugees. The General Assembly noted that 2001 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have the International Refugee Day coincide with African Refugee Day on 20 June.
UNITED coordinates an annual campaign on this day. In previous years, this was linked to UNITED’s Fatal Policies of Fortress Europe campaign, however in recent years this has become an ongoing, year-round campaign. The 20 June campaign now focuses of the refugees and migrants living in Europe, and encourages European organisations to do more to challenge the populist narrative that portrays migrants and refugees as a sinister threat and drain on European societies.