16 days | 10 hours

Until The Walkathon Ends!

Walk4AllRefugees 2023

We’re excited to announce our THIRD annual #Walk4AllRefugees Walkathon!

Date: June 1 - June 20, 2023 (World Refugee Day)

Registration ends on: June 15, 2023 at 11:59pm ET

Location: Virtual Event-Everywhere

Join us as we highlight the difficult journeys of refugee and stateless children around the world.

This global challenge aims to express our solidarity with stateless communities as they struggle to reach safety and obtain legal identity and protection. Help us #HonorTheirJourneys and protect their rights—show your support, one mile at a time!

Welcome to the Walk For All Refugees Walkathon!

What is statelessness and why does it matter to RSN?

Imagine a scenario where your home country is replaced without notice–boundaries redrawn and new countries surface overnight. To which state do you belong? Now consider the new laws and policies governing you and your family. Are you included, protected, and given rights? Or do you find yourself marginalized and unsafe because your community is excluded from citizenship?

In many parts of the world, colonialism’s unraveling introduced certain benefits, yet a number of grave challenges still persist today as people grapple with governance structures and partitioned lands. Exclusionary colonial-era laws–often carried over into the new state–prescribed unclear definitions of who would be considered a citizen–leaving minority groups devastated and disenfranchised. These very same laws also complicated and failed to recognize protection needs of those fleeing persecution, thus creating no legal distinction between refugees and other foreign nationals. These gaps in legislation continue to disrupt rights access as stateless communities and refugees often live with legal precarity for decades.

Along with 30 million refugees worldwide, UNHCR estimates that approximately 10 million individuals fall under the statelessness category–one-third of which are understood to be children. Without citizenship, birth certificates, passports, and other legal identity documents, statelessness is often passed down from generation to generation—creating a perpetual cycle of legal vulnerability.

Lack of legal protection, status, and documentation, are shared challenges facing both stateless communities and refugees. The absence of a legal identity seeps into everyday life, hindering access to even the most basic of human rights. Stateless communities and refugees around the globe struggle to access medical care, banking services, and jobs in the formal economy and government sectors. While each stateless and refugee story is unique—carrying with it its own legal barriers and challenges—it’s nearly impossible for stateless and refugee communities to obtain driver’s licenses, own a home or property, nor exercise their rights to vote. Mobility is limited, as travel outside of the country is frequently forbidden—putting them at risk of arrest and detention. Children are forced to take on low-wage jobs as their ability to enroll in public schools remains restricted.

South Asia, a region still experiencing the effects of its colonial history, is grappling with a number of challenges, including marginalization of certain communities. Through this global challenge, RSN extends solidarity with all those struggling with legal identity. Funds raised from this campaign will be used to help us improve the rights of refugee and stateless children in Pakistan, a country hosting somewhere between two and four million stateless people within its borders, on top of 1.5 million refugees.

Sameer’s Statelessness Story

It was cold and dark when Sameer left home—rising before the sun and returning beneath bright moonlight was typical for the eight-year-old. Quickly slipping on plastic sandals he found at the market, Sameer grabs his trash cart and heads towards downtown Karachi. For Sameer, and other young Afghan boys his age, fleeing to Pakistan in late 2021 was the only option—despite its own uncertainties and challenges.

After losing his father to violence in Kabul, Sameer and his family escaped conflict. They made the tiring journey to Pakistan—settling in Al-Asif Square among other Afghans before them. Unfortunately, without proper legal status, thousands of undocumented Afghan refugees are prohibited from enrolling in government schools.  Shattered were Sameer’s goals and dreams—promises of an education he had made to his late father. Obligated to care for his mother and young sister, he collects waste in the city for five rupees a day.

As a result of his situation as a stateless refugee, Sameer is exposed to gang violence, police harassment, and destitution. Lack of national identity cards and growing anti-refugee sentiments put Sameer and his family at risk of potential deportation.

For now, he makes his way up and down crowded city streets. Sameer knows one day he’ll leave home for a different reason—wearing new shoes on his feet and a backpack in hand. He replays this image over and over in his mind—hoping for change in a country he now calls home.

Sameer’s story is a fictional portrayal written by Samah Asfour, RSN’s Communications Manager, and illustrated by Ayouni Studios. Based on anecdotal evidence and research, it reflects common themes and struggles of statelessness

How the walkathon works

1. Purchase a walkathon ticket for $28 (includes a free walkathon t-shirt mailed to your home address*)

2. From June 1st to June 20th put on your t-shirt and walk as many miles as possible to show your support for children with no legal protection. Walk, hike, bike, or run any distance as a small sign of solidarity.

3. Share your photos on social media using #Walk4AllRefugees or #HonoringTheirJourneys; tag and DM us on Facebook @RefugeeSolidarityNetwork, and on Instagram @refsolntwrk; or email us at: comms@refugeesolidaritynetwork.org and we’ll share your walkathon photos!

*T-shirt shipping is only available within the United States. If you live abroad and still want to support our cause, 100% of your donation will go towards our work!

The raffle

We’re excited to announce that this year’s walkathon will include a raffle! For every additional $10 ticket you purchase, your name will be entered into the raffle once. We will draw winners after World Refugee Day!

Prizes Include:

  • $150 Whole Foods gift card
  • $100 Target gift card
  • $25 Trader Joes gift card


Send us photos of you participating in this year's walkathon!

Email walkathon photos to comms@refugeesolidaritynetwork.org, and we’ll share on social media to help raise awareness.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When I purchase a ticket, do I have to participate in the challenge?

Participation is NOT mandatory. You can simply purchase a ticket(s) and opt not to participate in the challenge, you will still receive a shirt and can participate in the raffle! However, we hope you find the experience personally valuable.

  • I really want to support your cause without participating in the walkathon, what can I do?

Thank you! You can still support us by visiting our website www.rsn.ngo and donating any amount. You are also able to make a donation through this page by going to tickets > donation.

  • I don’t have a lot of time. Is there a certain amount of miles I need to walk?

No, you can contribute any distance at all to show your solidarity. We know it isn’t feasible for all participants to walk everyday. Choose a reasonable distance for yourself and an activity you enjoy – biking, jogging, kayaking – and do it anywhere you wish while wearing your walkathon t-shirt!

  • Is there a limit to how many people I invite?

You can invite as many people as you’d like! We recommend doing the walkathon with a buddy – remember to email us your photos!

  • Can I just go to the gym? 

Of course! Just put on your walkathon t-shirt and help us raise awareness!

Further information

For any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out via email: development@refugeesolidaritynetwork.org– we’re always happy to hear from you. Don’t forget to follow our social media for updates and announcements: InstagramLinkedIn, Facebook, & Twitter!


Learn more about this initiative, our global research, and its impact.

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