Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Globally, 68.5mn people forcibly displaced from their home, says UN

Newly arrived children await UNHCR transport from Nadapal transit centre to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya Newly arrived children await UNHCR transport from Nadapal transit centre to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya
Jeannette Daniel | 20 June, 2018, 01:24

The report said the world's forcibly displaced population rose 2.9 million previous year, with a record high 68.5 million people forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, or violence, forcibly displaced as a result of persecution, conflict, or violence.

By the end of 2017, the number was almost three million higher than the previous year and showed a 50% increase from the 42.7m uprooted from their homes a decade ago, according to a report by the UN High Commission for Refugees.

The report highlighted large-scale displacements in Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and others. They are: Syria has the highest forcibly displaced population in the world with 6.3m refugees, 6.2m internally displaced persons and nearly 150,000 asylum-seekers This was the second largest refugee-producing country in 2017.

Also, around 5.4mn Palestinians are still living as refugees in Israel.

As the global numbers increase, many countries have become increasingly hostile to refugees. "In terms of refugee numbers it is the largest increase in a single year", UNHCR spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh said.

According to the report by the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, an estimated 16.2 million people were newly displaced previous year.

The number of refugees from Myanmar increased by more than 200 percent by the end of 2017 to 1.2 million, the report said, as the government's violent crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority intensified.

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Worldwide there are now some 25.4 million refugees, 40 million internally displaced people, and 3.1 million asylum-seekers, the report said.

"On the eve of World Refugee Day, my message to member states is please support this", said Grandi.

Of those, 25.4 million were refugees, who managed to flee to another country to escape conflict and persecution, up by 2.9 million from the year before. It does not examine the global asylum environment, which UNHCR reports on separately and which continued in 2017 to see incidents of forced returns, politicization and scapegoating of refugees, refugees being jailed or denied possibility to work, and several countries objecting even to use of the word "refugee". "When we were back home, we'd talk about how peaceful and wonderful it would be in Europe, and that we'd live happily ever after", says a young man named Azizzulah, who fled Afghanistan after his brother - who worked as a translator for the U.S. Army - was killed in a bombing that also killed four American soldiers. In all, 63 per cent of all refugees under UNHCR's responsibility were in just 10 countries.

Sadly, solutions remained in short supply. Around five million people were able to return to their homes in 2017 with the vast majority returning from internal displacement, but among these were people returning under duress or to fragile contexts.

About half of last year's refugee population were children under 18. "When people in need at sea become pieces in a political game, it is a grotesque symbol of the current lack of a proper system for worldwide responsibility-sharing". "Never. And the people will keep suffering from war". The term has its roots in global legal instruments, notably the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol and the 1969 OAU Convention. Refugees can not be returned to their home country unless it is on a strictly voluntary basis.

The new asylum seekers in Canada a year ago included 7,300 from Haiti, 5,500 from Nigeria and 2,200 from Turkey. Asylum seekers are given "international protection" while their claims are being assessed, and like refugees may not be returned home unless it is on a voluntary basis. The objective of the pact is to promote a more comprehensive worldwide effort in protecting those who flee their homes and in supporting the refugee-hosting countries.

Stateless person: Someone who is without a nationality of any country, and consequently lacks the human rights and access to services of those who have citizenship.

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