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Posts Tagged ‘Global Trends’

One in Every 113 Humans Displaced [and Rapidly Counting]

Posted by feww on June 20, 2016

Forced displacement hits record high: UNHCR

Global forced displacement escalate sharply in 2015 due to ongoing conflict and persecution, “reaching the highest level ever recorded and representing immense human suffering, according to a report released today by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.”

UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report, which tracks forced displacement worldwide based on data from governments, partners including the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, and the organization’s own reporting, said 65.3 million people were displaced as of the end of 2015, compared to 59.5 million just 12 months earlier. This is the first time that the threshold of 60 million has been crossed.

Of the 65.3 million total, about comprises 3.2 million are in industrialized countries awaiting decisions (as of end 2015) on asylum (the largest total UNHCR has recorded), 21.3 million refugees worldwide (1.8 million more than in 2014 and the highest refugee total since the early 1990s), and 40.8 million were IDPs, people who forced to flee their homes but remained within the confines of their own countries (an increase of 2.6 million from 2014 and the highest number on record).

Based on Earth’s 7.349 billion population, these numbers show that 1 in every 113 people globally is currently either an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee. The numbers are comparable to the 2015 populations of UK (64.7 million), France (64.4 million) and Italy (59.8 million).

Forced displacement has been on the rise since at least the mid-1990s in most regions, but over the past five years the rate of climb has increased. The reasons are threefold: Situations that cause large refugee outflows are lasting longer (for example, conflicts in Somalia or Afghanistan are now into their third and fourth decades, respectively), dramatic new or reignited situations are occurring frequently (today’s largest being Syria, but also in the space of the past five years South Sudan, Yemen, Burundi, Ukraine, Central African Republic, etc.), and the rate at which solutions are being found for refugees and internally displaced people has been on a falling trend since the end of the Cold War. As recently as 10 years ago, at the end of 2005, UNHCR recorded an average of six people displaced every minute. Today that number is 24 per minute – almost double the typical frequency at which adults breathe.

“More people are being displaced by war and persecution and that’s worrying in itself, but the factors that endanger refugees are multiplying too,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “At sea, a frightening number of refugees and migrants are dying each year; on land, people fleeing war are finding their way blocked by closed borders. Politics is gravitating against asylum in some countries. The willingness of nations to work together not just for refugees but for the collective human interest is what’s being tested today, and it’s this spirit of unity that badly needs to prevail.”

Three countries produce half the world’s refugees…

Among countries covered by the Global Trends report several stand out: Syria at 4.9 million, Afghanistan at 2.7 million and Somalia at 1.1 million together accounted for more than half the refugees under UNHCR’s mandate worldwide. Colombia at 6.9 million, Syria at 6.6 million, and Iraq at 4.4 million meanwhile had the largest numbers of internally displaced people. Yemen was the biggest producer of new internal displacement in 2015 – 2.5 million people, or 9 per cent of its population.

Half the world’s refugees are children

Children constituted 51 per cent of the world’s refugees in 2015 according to the data UNHCR was able to gather (complete demographic data was not available to the report authors). Worryingly, many were separated from their parents or travelling alone. In all there were 98,400 asylum requests from children who were unaccompanied or separated from their families. This is the highest total UNHCR has seen – and a tragic reflection of how global forced displacement is disproportionately affecting young lives.

Additional Information

UNHCR’s Global Trends Report is being released on World Refugee Day, 20 June, in conjunction with our #WithRefugees petition campaign. A full multimedia package is available in connection with the Global Trends report, including infographics, photos, video materials and other products.

 

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World at War: One in Every 122 Humans is a Refugee

Posted by feww on June 18, 2015

One in every 122 humans is a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum  —UNHCR

Record numbers of  people are forced to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere amid wars, conflict and persecution, said a new report from the UN refugee agency.

UNHCR’s annual Global Trends Report: World at War, released on Thursday (June 18), said that worldwide displacement in 2014 was at the highest level ever recorded.

An astounding 59.5 million people, a population the size of Canada and Australia combined, were forcibly displaced at the end of 2014, compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million ten years ago.

“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“It is terrifying that on the one hand there is more and more impunity for those starting conflicts, and on the other there is seeming utter inability of the international community to work together to stop wars and build and preserve peace.”

The numbers of refugees and internally displaced people are rising in every region of the world. Since 2010, “at least 15 conflicts have erupted or reignited: eight in Africa (Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, northeastern Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and this year in Burundi); three in the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, and Yemen); one in Europe (Ukraine) and three in Asia (Kyrgyzstan, and in several areas of Myanmar and Pakistan).”

“Few of these crises have been resolved and most still generate new displacement,” the report said, adding that in 2014 only 126,800 refugees were able to return to their home countries—the lowest number in 31 years.

Children comprise half of all refugees

More than half the world’s refugees and IDP are children, according to the UN report.

In 2014, about 13.9 million people became newly displaced—four times the number of the previous year, according to the Global Trends report. “Worldwide there were 19.5 million refugees (up from 16.7 million in 2013), 38.2 million were displaced inside their own countries (up from 33.3 million in 2013), and 1.8 million people were awaiting the outcome of claims for asylum (against 1.2 million in 2013).”

Worldwide Refugees and IDP

Asia

The number of refugees and internally displaced people in Asia grew by 31 per cent in 2014 to 9 million. “Continuing displacement was also seen in and from Myanmar in 2014, including of Rohingya from Rakhine state and in the Kachin and Northern Shan regions. Iran and Pakistan remained two of the world’s top four refugee hosting countries.”

Europe

Forced displacement numbers in Europe rose to 6.7 million last year, compared to 4.4 million at the end of 2013, with the largest proportion of this being Syrians in Turkey, Ukrainians in the Russian Federation, and a record 219,000 Mediterranean crossings…

Middle East and North Africa

Syria’s ongoing war, with a total of 11.5  million displaced people [7.6 million IDP and  3.88 million refugees at the end of 2014,] was the world’s largest producer and host of forced displacement last year. The regional total grew further with new displacement of least 2.6 million people in Iraq and 309,000 newly displaced in Libya. Afghanistan had 2.59 million refugees.

Sub-Saharan Africa

“Africa’s numerous conflicts, including in Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia (1.1 million), Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere, together produced immense forced displacement totals in 2014, on a scale only marginally lower than in the Middle East.”

Sub-Saharan Africa had 3.7 million refugees and 11.4 million IDP, 4.5 million of whom were newly displaced in 2014. The 17 per cent overall increase excludes Nigeria.

Americas

A rise in forced displacement also occurred in the Americas, said the report. Colombia had one of the world’s largest IDP at 6 million, with 137,000 Colombians being newly displaced in 2014. “With more people fleeing gang violence or other forms of persecution in Central America, the United States saw 36,800 more asylum claims than in 2013, representing growth of 44 percent.”

The Global Trends report is available at http://unhcr.org/556725e69.html.

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