The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Thursday reiterated its call on all countries to help refugees, who have been displaced due to conflict, persecution or other threats, return to a safe haven.
According to a report released on Thursday, more than 1 percent of the world's population – 1 in 96 people – is affected by forced displacement. The chances of voluntary repatriation are also decreasing day by day.
According to the UNHCR's annual Global Trends Report, released two days before World Refugee Day, 69.5 million people were displaced worldwide by the end of 2019. Never before in history have so many people been homeless.
The report also found that hopes for a quick end to the plight of refugees were dwindling. In the 1990s, an average of 1.5 million people could be repatriated each year. This number has dropped to 390,000 in the last decade, which shows how far the amount of displacement has now gone towards a sustainable solution.
Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said, "The reality is that the number of forced evictions has not only increased; In most cases, the problems are long-term. It is unacceptable that these people are spending years in uncertainty without any hope of repatriation or building a future somewhere in their own country. New and liberal approach is needed for refugees; At the same time, we want a firm commitment to resolve the conflicts that have been at the root of their suffering for years."
According to the UNHCR's Global Trends Report, 45.7 million of these 69.5 million people have been internally displaced. The rest have been forced to flee the country, of which 29.8 million are refugees, and 4.2 million are awaiting the results of applying for asylum in another country.
At the end of 2018, the number was 7.8 crore, which has increased in one year mainly due to two reasons. The first is the various events of the new displacement especially the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Sahel region of West Africa, Yemen and Syria. Nine years after the conflict, 1.32 crore Syrians are either refugees or asylum seekers or internally displaced. This number is one-sixth of global displacement.
The second reason is the detailed information available in the last year about the situation of Venezuelans living outside their own country. Many of them are not legally registered as refugees or asylum seekers, but they also need protection and assistance.
These are not just numbers; they involve many people and their daily struggles. More children than the total population of Australia, Denmark and Mongolia are displaced today. Their number is about 3 to 3.4 crores, of which millions of children are without guardians. The displaced elderly population (4 percent) is much smaller than the global elderly population (12 percent). Behind these statistics are countless stories of heart-breaking frustration, sacrifice and separation.
The following eight things about forced displacement.
100 million people have been displaced in the last decade and forced to take refuge elsewhere in their own country or outside the country. This is more than the population of Egypt, which is the 14th largest population in the world.
The number of forced displacements has almost doubled in the last ten years (in 2010 it was 4.1 crores, which is now 7.95 crores).
80 percent of the displaced people are in countries that are suffering from a severe food crisis and malnutrition. Many of these countries are at risk of climate and natural disasters.
More than three-quarters of the world's refugees (77 percent) are stuck in a long-term crisis. For example, the fifth decade of the Afghanistan crisis is now underway.
On average, more than eight out of every 10 people (85 percent) are now in developing countries, usually in neighbouring countries.
Two-thirds of the world's refugees come from five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.
All major IDPs and refugees are considered in this Global Trends Report; Among them are the 5.6 million Palestinian refugees employed by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine.
The UN Statistical Commission added a new indicator on refugee issues in March this year. Through this, refugees have also joined the "Living No One Behind" pledge of sustainable development by 2030.