Friday, June 18, 2021

Seeking Sanctuary

 The number of displaced people has doubled in the last decade.

The number of people leaving their homes due to persecution, conflict, violence, and human rights violations has increased to 82.4 million, according to the Global Trends report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

The vast majority of refugees around the world are hosted by countries that are low- and middle-income nations. The world's least developed countries host 27% of the world's refugees.

At the end of last year, there were 20.7 million refugees under the UNHCR mandate, 5.7 million Palestinian refugees, and 3.9 million Venezuelans who fled their homes.

Turkey hosts the highest with 3.7 million refugees. Colombia was second with more than 1.7 million, including Venezuelans displaced abroad. Germany hosted the third-largest number with nearly 1.5 million.

A further 48 million people were displaced within their own country while there are 4.1 million asylum-seekers.

The UN estimates that almost 1 million children were born as refugees between 2018 and 2020. Furthermore, 42% of displaced persons are girls and boys under the age of 18. Many of them are at risk of remaining in exile for years to come, some potentially for the rest of their lives.

At the height of the pandemic in 2020, more than 160 countries closed their borders while 99 countries made no exception for people who had sought international protection. Only 34,400 applications for resettlement were accepted — the lowest figure in 20 years. 

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