Refugees are people who have fled their countries and cannot return home due to a well founded fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular group, or political opinion. Today, there are about 15.4 million refugees in the world of which eighty percent are hosted in the developing world. Forty-six percent of refugees worldwide are under 18 years old.
In 2011, the largest refugee populations came from: Afghanistan (2.7 million), Iraq (1.4 million), and Somalia (1.1 million). Pakistan, Iran, and Syria are currently home to the largest refugee populations.
Refugees are spending an increasing amount of time in camps. In the 1990s, refugees spent an average of nine years in camps. Today the average time is nearly twenty years. Globally, there are now 31 protracted refugee situations. Some of the most protracted refugee situations are that of the Somalis in Kenya, and the Palestinians in the Middle East.
Refugees often lack many basic human rights such as free movement, right to work, freedom from arbitrary detention and others. This lack of rights makes refugees vulnerable to abuse. It also often greatly hinders their ability to lead productive and fulfilling lives.
Recent News Articles and Blogs:
In-Depth: Top 10 neglected refugee crises
November 21, 2012
JOHANNESBURG- Refugee crises appear to come and go. In 2011, all eyes were on the Dadaab refugee complex in northern Kenya as it received hundreds of thousands of Somalis fleeing famine and conflict. This year, attention has shifted to the refugee exodus from Syria, even though the majority of Somalis who arrived at Dadaab last year are still there. Continue reading →
Lebanon: Palestinian Refugees working under exploitative conditions in Lebanon
November 21, 2012
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are managing to find work, despite ongoing obstacles, but largely under exploitative conditions, according to a new study conducted by the International Labor Organization and released Tuesday. Continue reading →
Aid Worker Diaries- It’s Time for a New Approach to Urban Refugees
By Dale Buscher, Women’s Refugee Commission
November 20, 2012
They flock to cities like Nairobi, Cairo and Johannesburg seeking better opportunities and the chance to provide for themselves and their children—opportunities that are not available to them in the refugee camps. Continue reading →
Syria crisis: Refugee children ‘face winter risks’
November 19, 2012
International charity Save the Children has warned 200,000 Syrian refugee children are at serious risk from freezing temperatures, as winter sets in the Middle East. Continue reading →
Rohingya in Bangladesh: Maintaining the Status Quo; Squandering a Rare Opportunity
November 1, 2012
A Refugees International Report
For decades, Burmese Rohingya fleeing persecution have sought refuge in Bangladesh. June’s inter-communal violence in Burma’s Rakhine State, as well as subsequent state-sponsored persecution and targeted attacks against Muslim populations, have cast an international spotlight on this neglected population, and offered an opportunity to resolve the status of both stateless Rohingya inside Burma and those Rohingya who are refugees in neighboring countries. Continue reading →
By Kareem Fahim, The New York Times
August 28, 2012BEIRUT – The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday that the number of Syrian refugees fleeing to Jordan last week had more than doubled from the previous week, raising further fears of a growing exodus from Syria that threatens to overwhelm international relief efforts.Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Melissa Fleming, the chief spokeswoman for the refugee agency, said that 10,200 Syrians had crossed into northern Jordan between Aug. 21 and Aug. 27, compared to 4,500 the week before. The refugees, she said, included an increasing number of unaccompanied children, among them orphans and children sent ahead by parents, sometimes without passports. Continue reading →
UN High Commissioner for Refugees launches “State of the World’s Refugees” warns of worsening global displacement
UNHCR (Press Release)
May 31, 2012
NEW YORK – The head of the UN refugee agency, António Guterres, warned today that factors causing mass population flight are growing and that the coming 10 years will see more and more people on the move becoming refugees or internally displaced persons. Continue reading →