>> Plaques like these are found on buildings across London, linking famous people of the past with the buildings of the present. But these ones tell a different story. Celebrating refugees and their contribution to British society. They've been placed across the country to mark World Refugee Day, as the UN says a record number of people are displaced.
And the body's refugee chief says a worrying climate of xenophobia has taken hold in Europe. The refugee that this plaque was successful enough to buy the building. I'm Reuters reporter Emily Withers in the heart of the city of London, this one celebrates, Dame Stephanie Shirley and her rise from child refugee to wealthy entrepreneur and philanthropist.
>> I'm surprised that it is so widespread in Britain that people are scared of refugees and what they might do to the current lifestyle.>> Dame Shirley arrived in Britain with nothing, fleeing the Nazi's in 1939. She's retired, a multi-millionaire, after founding and pioneering an all female software firm and donating more than 65 million to charity.
>> My refugee experience has driven me all my life. It's as pertinent today as it was 75 years ago, in that I know that I am different. I have something to give, I need to give back. I need to say thank you.>> UN figures published Monday show that 65 million people were uprooted worldwide last year.
Many of them fleeing wars only to face walls, tougher laws and anti-foreign sentiment as they reached boarders. The NGO behind the plaque initiative says they hope the campaign will encourage people to take a step back from the negative rhetoric.>> It celebrates tolerance and fights against intolerance and racism, as well as celebrating the contribution of refugees.
And I think that's a timely message, it is the time for us to take stock and think of our humanity.