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Number of Forcibly Displaced People Will Exceed 60 Million

Posted by feww on December 18, 2015

Significant worldwide rise in forced displacement in first half 2015 —UNHCR

One in every 122 humans is today someone who has been forced to flee their homes.

More refugees, asylum-seekers, and people forced to flee inside their own countries than ever before, according to UNHCR’s Mid-Year Trends 2015 report.

With almost a million people having crossed the Mediterranean as refugees and migrants so far this year, and conflicts in Syria and elsewhere continuing to generate staggering levels of human suffering, 2015 is likely to exceed all previous records for global forced displacement, UNHCR warned in a new report today.

Covering the period from January to end June, the report looks at worldwide displacement resulting from conflict and persecution, and “shows markers firmly in the red in each of the three major categories of displacement —refugees, asylum-seekers, and people forced to flee inside their own countries.

The global refugee total, which a year ago was 19.5 million, had as of mid-2015 passed the 20 million threshold (20.2 million) for the first time since 1992.

Asylum applications climbed 78% (993,600 applicants) over the same period in 2014, while the numbers of internally displaced people reached an estimated 34 million, a jump of 2 million.

Taking into account that the report covers only internally displaced people protected by UNHCR (the global total including people both in and outside UNHCR’s care is only available in mid-2016), 2015 is on track to see worldwide forced displacement exceeding 60 million for the first time—1 in every 122 humans is today someone who has been forced to flee their home.

Meanwhile, the number of refugees increased by 839,000 in the first six months of 2015 – or an average of about 4,600 people every day.

“Forced displacement is now profoundly affecting our times,” UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres said in a statement. “Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything.”

Europe’s influx of refugees arriving by boat via the Mediterranean is only partly reflected in the report, mainly as arrivals there have escalated in the second half of 2015,  and outside the period covered by the report.

Nonetheless, in the first six months of 2015 Germany was the world’s biggest recipient of new asylum claims – 159,000, close to the entire total for all of 2014. The second largest recipient was the Russian Federation with 100,000 claims, mainly people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine.

If you become a refugee today your chances of ever returning home are lower than at any time in more than 3 decades, said the report.

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