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Record high number of 65.3 million people were forcibly displaced last year worldwide

26.6.2016 12:59
Refugees on the Greek island of Kos, 2015. (PHOTO:  bau)
Refugees on the Greek island of Kos, 2015. (PHOTO: bau)

Last year the number of people forcibly displaced rose to 65.3 million worldwide. On 20 June the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reported that figure is a record high, with the number of forcibly displaced persons worldwide exceeding 60 million for the first time ever.

Compared to 2014, the numbers worldwide increased by almost 10 %. One person out of every 113 in the world has been forced to flee his or her home. 

While from 1996-2011 the number of forcibly displaced persons was relatively stable, since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011 that number has grown annually. In 2014 there were 59.5 million forcibly displaced persons, the most since World War Two.

"We are living in an unstable world" of conflicts and wars and "it is logical that people want to reach safer parts of the world" said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, who published the report in Geneva on the occasion of World Refugee Day. The General Secretary of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Jan Egeland, whose organization contributed to the report, said he considers today's refugees to be the "victims of the general paralysis" of governments in the world "refusing to take responsibility".

According to statistics, 21.3 million persons have fled their countries entirely and 40.8 million have moved to safer places inside their home states. The remaining 3.2 million are people who have requested asylum in developed countries.

The UN has registered 21.3 million people as refugees, of whom 16.1 million are recognized by the UNHCR and 5.2 million are Palestinians recognized by a special UN agency. Most forcibly displaced persons come from Syria, followed by Afghanistan, Burundi and South Sudan, and half of them are children.

"Refugees are crossing the Mediterranean Sea and arriving on European shores. The message they bring with them is that if when you don't solve problems, then the problems will come after you. We need political action to halt these conflicts. That would be the most significant prevention against an influx of refugees," Grandi said.

The continent of Africa has received the most refugees in the world. The 4.41 million forcibly displaced persons there come mainly from five African countries:  Somalia, South Sudan, Congo, Sudan, and the Central African Republic.

Europe has received 4.39 million people, a growth of 43 % compared to last year. In Europe forcibly displaced persons are heading mainly to Turkey, followed by Germany, Russia, France, Sweden, Britain and Italy.

There was a slight decline in refugee numbers recorded last year in Asia. The numbers reported for 2015 were 3.8 million, 2 % down from 2014.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Immigration, refugee, Statistika, UN



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