After decades of working with refugees and people affected by conflict, Concern knows that becoming a refugee is not a choice — it’s a last resort. After feeling their homes, where do the majority end up living?
Once again the plight of refugees is front page news across the world. President Trump’s executive order to suspend travel from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia has provoked a wave of protest in the US and in numerous other countries as well as condemnation from a number of international leaders, politicians and NGOs. Concern US released this statement.
The Geneva Refugee Convention requires the international community to take in refugees fleeing from conflict and persecution on humanitarian grounds. All signatory states are obliged to provide refuge.
The US President’s order comes at a time when the world has the highest levels of displacement on record. Statistics released last year from the UNHCR reveal that 65.3 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. Among them are nearly 21.3 million refugees, a majority under the age of 18. There are also 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights such as education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement. Each day 34,000 people – the population of Exmouth - are forcibly displaced from where they live.
As demonstrated by this graphic from the UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency, a majority of the displaced are being hosted not in Europe or the Americas, but in Africa and the Middle East. Turkey hosts 2.5 million refugees, the most in the world, and Lebanon is third on the top hosting list. Concern works in both these countries supporting refugees who have fled the civil war in Syria.