An increasingly challenging international issue is the growing number of forcibly displaced people, defined by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as humans who are forced to flee their homeland as a result of conflict, persecution, generalized violence, and violations of human rights. According to the UNHCR (2019) Mid-Year Trends 2018 report, the most updated source that the UNHCR provides, there is a total population of 70.4 million forcibly displaced people. This figure includes refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced people (IDPs), and stateless people (UNHCR). The World Bank estimates that there are 25,376,316 refugees based on data from the UNHCR and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Refugees, according to the Oxford Reference, are “both a cause and consequence of intercommunal conflict.” The term refugee, according to the Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (UNHCR, 2010), is defined as a person who:
“owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it” (p. 14).
War and violence are the main reasons why individuals are fleeing their country of nationality (UNHCR). As a state that is currently experiencing a socio-political crisis involving civil war and political turmoil, Syria is the leading source of refugees; nearly one-third of the global refugee population originates from Syria (6.5 million). Other countries from which considerable amounts of refugees originate include: Afghanistan (2.7 million), South Sudan (2.2 million), and Myanmar (1.2 million) (UNHCR, 2019). There are also at least 5.4 million refugees from Palestine under the UNRWA’s mandate (UNHCR)…
SOURCE: Emily Eshoo. “How do influxes of refugees influence the potential for violence within the host country?” Emily Eshoo, 2019.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia