June 20 is World Refugee Day – a day dedicated to honoring the strength and determination of refugees: women, men and children forced to flee their homeland under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. There are more than 50 million refugees around the world, half of them under the age of 18.
The world’s biggest refugee camp, Dadaab in Kenya, is home to half a million people. A fifth of them have never known life anywhere else. They were born in the camp as third-generation refugees.
Many are in “protracted limbo”, spending more than five years and often up to 20 or 30 years in a refugee camp.
Most refugees are never granted new citizenship, making working in their new societies difficult or impossible. About 10 million refugees are stateless, making them the most invisible people on the earth.
But many refugees make a positive economic impact in their new communities.
Let’s take a moment to honor the spirit and courage of people displaced from their homes, and recognize their contributions.
Here are eleven famous faces you might not know were also once refugees.