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WHEREAS, June 20, 2021 is World Refugee Day, an international day to honor refugees around the globe and celebrate the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution; and
WHEREAS, World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations in 2001 to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the UN Convention (1951) regarding the status of refugees; and
WHEREAS, refugees are people who have been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster; and
WHEREAS, the world is witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record and conflict and persecution have forced more than 80 million people around the world to flee their homes, of which more than 26 million have become refugees; and
WHEREAS, half of the refugees in the world are children under the age of 18, which is a 118 percent increase in child refugees between 2010 and 2019; and
WHEREAS, in 2020, 1484 refugees arrived in the Commonwealth of Virginia from around the world; and
WHEREAS, this day reminds us of the many people in the world who have been forced to leave their home and that we are all in it together, living, listening, and collaborating to create a better life for all
WHEREAS, refugees contribute to a stronger, safer, and more vibrant world; and
WHEREAS, World Refugee Day 2021 focuses on the power of inclusion, and together #WithRefugees, we heal, learn, and shine; and
WHEREAS, refugees enrich the Commonwealth of Virginia daily through their social, cultural, religious and economic contributions; and
WHEREAS, we encourage Virginians to reflect upon the severity of the refugee crisis and to celebrate the perseverance and accomplishments of Virginia’s refugees;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize June 20, 2021, as WORLD REFUGEE DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.