70 Years of Canada #WithRefugees

Join us in celebrating UNHCR’s 70 year anniversary.

Photo: © UNHCR/Darren Calabrese

70th Anniversary of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency

UNHCR Canada is travelling far and wide to visit refugees who have made Canada their home over the past 70 years. We invite you to watch, read, and cook alongside fellow Canadians and refugees as we learn about their stories, families, favourite home-cooked meals, traditions, and more.

“Tastes from Home: Recipes from the Refugee Community” | Free e-Cookbook

​UNHCR Canada released its first-ever cookbook on December 14th. The cookbook is filled with more than 100 pages of photos, recipes and stories from refugees across the country. For every copy downloaded, an anonymous supporter will be making a donation to UNHCR in support of refugees and their families.


Join us as we commemorate seven decades of Canadians standing #WithRefugees

World Refugee Day

Join us in standing in solidarity with refugees on June 20.

a portrait of a young woman

#IWasARefugee Campaign

Hear stories about everyday Canadians who were refugees.

Five women smiling together

“Seven decades on, forced human displacement remains a global concern. The context is different, but the complexity remains immense. Today’s refugee crises are part of a growing flow of human mobility, driven by many overlapping elements.”

Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Un des enfants de Queen Chandia sur sa terre agricole, au camp de Oliji
On December 14, 2020, UNHCR will mark 70 years since United Nations General Assembly adopted the Statute of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. UNHCR was originally established in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes. It was then supposed to be disbanded. The unrelenting needs for UNHCR to help continue its work to protect and assist refugees over the last 70 years reflects the tragic displacement situation that still exists in the world today.





A woman in a chef's smock poses behind her food stall

Each year, UNHCR releases statistics on the number of forcibly displaced people worldwide, including refugees, internally displaced people, people seeking asylum and stateless people. 

The 1951 Refugee Convention is the key legal document that forms the basis of our work. Ratified​ by 145 State parties, it defines the term ‘refugee’ and outlines the rights of the displaced.

Nigerian refugees in Niger, May 12, 2016

UNHCR was created in 1950, during the aftermath of the Second World War, to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes. Today, over 70 years later, our organization is still hard at work.

Timeline of Canada’s history of refuge

Canada is signatory to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, which sets out the obligations of countries towards persons recognized as refugees. The country has stood alongside refugees over the past seven decades. From accepting refugees displaced by Socialism, Nazism, Communism and Soviet occupation in the 1950s, to welcoming a record-breaking 25,000 Syrian refugees in 2015, Canada has always been a haven for displaced persons. In 2018, Canada led the world in resettlement, resettling more refugees than any other country that year.

In Canada, UNHCR advocates for the resettlement of more refugees and ensures that asylum seekers are protected here. We also advocate to end the detention of asylum seekers and raise awareness of global refugees issues. Finally, we help other countries improve their refugee status determination systems.

Help us celebrate UNHCR’s 70 year anniversary

To commemorate our 70th anniversary, help UNHCR Canada provide life-saving aid to refugees. Your gift can safeguard the fundamental human rights of displaced persons and help them build a better future.

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