War, violence, persecution push displacement to new unprecedented high: UNHCR report
War, violence and persecution worldwide are causing more people than ever to be forcibly displaced, according to a report published today by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, APA reported.
UNHCR’s new Global Trends report, the organization’s major annual survey of the state of displacement, says that at the end of 2016 there were 65.6 million people forcibly displaced worldwide – some 300,000 more than a year earlier. This total represents an enormous number of people needing protection worldwide.
The figure of 65.6 million comprises three important components. First is refugee numbers, which at 22.5 million are the highest ever seen. Of these, 17.2 million come under the responsibility of UNHCR, and the remainder are Palestinian refugees registered with our sister-organization UNRWA. Syria’s conflict remains the world’s biggest producer of refugees (5.5 million), however in 2016 the biggest new factor was South Sudan where the disastrous breakdown of peace efforts in July of that year contributed to the outflow of 739,900 people by year’s end (1.87 million today).
Second is displacement of people inside their own countries, whose numbers were 40.3 million at the end of 2016 compared to 40.8 million a year earlier. Syria, Iraq, and the still very significant displacement inside Colombia were the biggest internal displacement situations, nonetheless the problem of internal displacement is a worldwide one and accounts for almost two thirds of the global forced displacement total.
Third is asylumseekers, people who have fled their country and are seeking international protection as refugees. As of the end of 2016 the number of people seeking asylum globally was 2.8 million.
This adds up to an immense human cost of war and persecution globally: 65.6 million means that on average one in every 113 people worldwide is today someone who is displaced – a population bigger than that of the world’s 21st most populous country, the United Kingdom.
“By any measure this is an unacceptable number, and it speaks louder than ever to the need for solidarity and common purpose in preventing and resolving crises, and ensuring together that the world’s refugees, internally displaced and asylum seekers are properly protected and cared for while solutions are pursued,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “We have to do better for these people. For a world in conflict, what is needed is determination and courage, not fear.”
Among the report’s key findings, is that new displacement in particular remains very high. Of the 65.6 million people forcibly displaced globally, 10.3 million became displaced in 2016, about two-thirds of them (6.9 million) fleeing within their own countries. This equates to one person becoming displaced every 3 seconds – less than the time it takes to read this sentence.
At the same time, returns of refugees and internally displaced people to their homes, combined with other solutions such as resettlement in third countries meant that for some, 2016 brought the prospect of improvement. Some 37 countries together accepted 189,300 refugees for resettlement. Around half a million other refugees were able to return to their home countries, and about 6.5 million internally displaced people to their areas of origin - although many did so in less than ideal circumstances and facing uncertain prospects.
Worldwide, most refugees – 84 per cent – were in low- or middle-income countries as of end 2016, with one in every three (4.9 million people) being hosted by the least developed countries. This huge imbalance reflects several things including the continuing lack of consensus internationally when it comes to refugee hosting and the proximity of many poor countries to regions of conflict. It also illustrates the need for countries and communities supporting refugees and other displaced people to be robustly resourced and supported – the absence of which can create instability, have consequences for life-saving humanitarian work, or lead to secondary displacement.
By population, Syria still accounts for the biggest numbers of displaced people overall, with 12 million people (almost two thirds of the population) either displaced internally or having fled abroad as refugees or asylum seekers. Leaving aside the long-standing Palestinian refugee situation, Colombians (7.7 million) and Afghans (4.7 million) remained the second and third largest populations, followed by Iraqis (4.2 million) and South Sudanese (the world’s fastest growing displaced population with 3.3 million having fled their homes by the end of the year).
Children, who make up half the world’s refugees, continue to bear a disproportionate burden of the suffering, mainly because of their greater vulnerability. Tragically, 75,000 asylum claims were received from children travelling alone or separated from their parents. The report says even this number is likely to underestimate the true figure.
UNHCR estimates that at least 10 million people were without a nationality or at risk of statelessness at the end of 2016. However, data recorded by governments and communicated to UNHCR were limited to 3.2 million stateless people in 75 countries.
Global Trends is a statistical assessment of forced displacement, and as such a number of key developments in the refugee world in 2016 are not captured. These include increased politicization of asylum issues in many countries, and growing restrictions on access to protection measures in some regions, but also positive developments such as the historic summits on Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, the landmark New York Declaration that followed, the new all-of-society approach to managing displacement being pioneered under the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework, and the enormous generosity of host countries and donor governments alike towards refugees and other displaced populations.
UNHCR produces its Global Trends report annually based on its own data, the data it receives from its partner the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, and data it receives from governments.
Related news releases
- 18.10.2017Spectators to be provided with buses following Qarabag-Atletico Madrid football match
- 18.10.2017Azerbaijan registers 390 HIV-positive people in 2017
- 18.10.2017Documentary “Objective Baku: How Hitler Lost the Battle for Oil” screened in London
- 18.10.2017Increase in male victims of human trafficking, IOM says
- 17.10.2017Azerbaijan considers amendment to Criminal Code regarding postponement of sentence for some prisoners
- 17.10.2017Azerbaijan defines upper and lowers limits of new penalty for juvenile delinquency
- 17.10.2017Azerbaijan’s trade representatives abroad to be paid in amount of 90 percent of ambassador’s salary
- 16.10.2017Interior Minister: Situation with sexual minorities in Azerbaijan no different from that in most European states
- 16.10.2017ANAS proposes businesses undertake to finance development of science in country
- 13.10.2017"IMAGINE" Euro Tolerance Festival 2017 kicks off in Baku
- 13.10.2017Azerbaijan set to abrogate imprisonment for illegal trafficking of medications
- 13.10.2017ANAS says statement by Institute of History on map crisis does not reflect its position
- 13.10.2017U.S., Azerbaijan improve irrigation in Saatli
- 13.10.2017Number of Azerbaijan population announced
- 13.10.20174-year-old Azerbaijani child rescued from ISIL in Iraq brought home
- 12.10.2017ANAS Institute of History issues statement on map crisis
- 12.10.2017President Ilham Aliyev awards railway workers
- 11.10.2017New generation vaccine developed against malaria: Azerbaijani scientist
- 11.10.2017Azerbaijan develops life expectancy map
- 10.10.2017Premarital examination: 240 diagnosed with thalassemia, 7 with AIDS in Azerbaijan
- 10.10.2017Strong magnetic storm to hit Earth
- 09.10.2017President Ilham Aliyev: Sometimes there are delays in execution of actions relating to Strategic Road Maps
- 09.10.2017Historian: ‘Greater Armenia’ map in history textbook may have been published for insidious purpose
- 09.10.2017Azerbaijan conducts serious fight against corruption, cybercrime: Deputy Prosecutor General
- 06.10.2017Project ‘Italian language week’ presented in Baku
- 06.10.2017Ambassador: From among EU countries, Italy is where most Azerbaijani students choose to pursue their study
- 06.10.2017Some Ashura blood donators found to be infected with HIV, Hepatitis, Syphilis: Health Ministry
- 06.10.2017Nobel Peace Prize 2017 awarded to International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
- 06.10.2017Azerbaijani Press Council recommends fines for violation of literary language norms
- 06.10.2017Azerbaijan’s NTRC reveals main problems with using literary language on television and radio
- 06.10.201711th International Education Exhibition opens in Baku
- 05.10.2017Azerbaijani First Vice-President attended ceremony to give out new apartments to IDP families in Masazir
- 05.10.2017First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva visits new building for IDP families
- 05.10.2017President Ilham Aliyev approves funding for school construction in Lahij
- 04.10.2017Minister Kamaleddin Heydarov meets with CEO of Italian Leonardo company
- 04.10.2017Men also among victims of domestic violence in Azerbaijan: State Committee
- 04.10.2017Euronews presents report about Azerbaijan's Lahij city - VIDEO
- 03.10.2017Int’l experience shows risk of sexually transmitted diseases is higher, sociologist says
- 03.10.2017Azerbaijan’s ex-health minister appeals to Supreme Court chairman
- 03.10.2017Kamal Abdullayev granted Azerbaijani president’s personal stipend
- 19.06.2017Traffic restricted in Baku’s central streets due to F1 Grand Prix
- 19.06.2017Entrance to part of Baku Seaside National Park to be closed from June 20 to 26
- 19.06.2017Ex-ministry official Vidadi Zeynalov again partially reimburses damage caused to state
- 19.06.2017US ambassador visits Ganja
- 17.06.2017Traffic police address drivers in connection with Formula 1
- 16.06.2017Azerbaijan University of Languages to get public legal entity status