This World Refugee Day, the city reminds community members of their rights under Boulder's Human Rights Ordinance.

Each June 20, the United Nations honors refugees around the globe through World Refugee Day. This day celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. World Refugee Day is an occasion to build empathy and understanding for their plight and to recognize their resilience in rebuilding their lives.

While we strive to create a welcoming and inclusive community for all, we acknowledge that discrimination in our community is a reality.

Fostering Belonging and Respecting Human Rights

The Human Rights Ordinance exists to protect against discrimination in Boulder and assist people who have been discriminated against in three areas, including:

  • Housing

  • Employment

  • Public accommodation in places such as stores, restaurants, health clubs and movie theaters

Within these areas, the ordinance prohibits discrimination based on ancestry, color, creed, gender variance, genetic characteristics, immigration status, marital status, mental disability, national origin, physical disability, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation and source of income. In housing, it also prohibits discrimination based on custody of a minor child, parenthood and pregnancy. In employment, it also prohibits discrimination based on age, specifically 40 and older.

City Council enacted the Human Rights Ordinance in 1972 to create prompt, local protection and for classes not protected at the state or federal levels, such as sexual orientation, gender variance and genetic characteristics.

If you or someone you know has been the target of discrimination within city limits, you can file a claim through the City of Boulder’s Human Rights Ordinance. These services are available in any language. Learn more on the city’s website.

Resources for Refugees

  • Refugees can sometimes face unique forms of discrimination or require specific assistance and resources. The Denver Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs (DOIRA) partners with nonprofits, community-based organizations, residents, and government agencies to develop and implement policies, practices and programs that influence the various paths of immigrant integration. Visit the DOIRA website to find additional resources.

  • The International Rescue Committee (IRC) provides opportunities for refugees, asylees, victims of human trafficking, survivors of torture, and other immigrants to thrive in America. The IRC works with government bodies, civil society actors, and local volunteers to help them translate their past experiences into assets that are valuable to their new communities. In Denver and other offices across the country, the IRC helps them to rebuild their lives. Visit the IRC Denver website to learn more.