The world is now witnessing the highest levels of displacement ever recorded. Beyond sensational headlines, there is a lot to learn about refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs).
- Every 2 minutes, a person is forced from their home due to conflict or persecution.
- In total, around 68.5 million people in the world are refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs).
- A refugee is someone who has had to seek safety in a country other than their own.
- An IDP is someone who has been displaced from their home or community but remain within their home country.
- More than 50% of the world’s refugees are children.
- 86% of refugees are hosted by developing countries. The world’s richest countries only host around 5%.
- The average time out of country for a refugee is now well over a decade.
- Last year alone, more than 5,000 men, women, and even unaccompanied children lost their lives during their search for safety and a better life.
- Two refugee crises that have made headlines in recent months are the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh and the ongoing emergency in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- The Rohingya are a stateless ethnic minority in Myanmar who have seen increased violence against them and have been forced to flee to neighboring Bangladesh in what is the fastest-growing refugee emergency in the world today.
- More than 647,00 refugees have fled to Bangladesh since August 2017.
- The vast majority of Rohingya refugees are women and children, with many elderly as well.
- ADRA is serving Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh–see a video of our team in action late last year by clicking here.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
- According to UNHCR, “the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is one of the most complex and challenging humanitarian situations worldwide, with multiple conflicts affecting several parts of its vast territory.”
- Nearly 2 million people have been displaced due to unrest since January 2017.
- 4.25 million are internally displaced within DRC and 600,000 are refugees across sub-Saharan Africa.
- On top of its own displacement crisis, DRC is host to around 530,000 refugees from neighboring countries such as South Sudan, Central African Republic (CAR), and Burundi with more still arriving.
- ADRA works with refugees from DRC in Uganda. See how ADRA Uganda with partners are helping to provide education to these refugees in the following video.
Refugees and Human Rights
- Seeking asylum in other countries is a human right recognized by Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Countries that have ratified the 1951 Refugee Convention are obligated to protect refugees in their territory.
- Refugees and asylum seekers have numerous rights, including the right to: not get sent back to their home country; not be punished for illegally entering countries that are party to the Convention and Protocol; housing; work; access to education; access to public assistance; access to courts; get identification and travel documents. (CNN)