The world is currently facing its worst refugee and displacement crisis in all of human history. According to UN statistics, almost every two seconds, a person is forced to leave their country. Thus about 70 million people are now displaced and living as refugees. Furthermore, People from all around the world are fleeing the horrors of their own home for the mere sake of survival.
There are several types of population displacement that accumulated to this crisis, however, the main ones are:
The UN defines refugees as individuals who “have been forced to flee his or her country and have a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so”. Currently, there are 25.9 million refugees scattered all over the globe, with more than half of whom are under the age of 18. Even though refugees migrate from different countries, statistics proved that almost 67% of all the refugees have fled from Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, or Somalia.
Like refugees, Asylum Seekers are the people who left their homes behind. However, their claim to refugee status is still not definitively evaluated by the country that they fled to. Additionally, Applying for asylum is the formal process of applying for the right to be recognized as a refugee and to receive both legal protection and material assistance. Thus, Asylum Seeking is a stage where displaced people cross before being fully accepted and recognized as a refugee.
Internally Displaced Persons
Internally Displaced People are people who had to move to a different region in their own country to survive. Unlike refugees, they have not crossed any international borders, but they are also eligible for the UN’s humanitarian aid systems. Currently, there are almost 41.3 million people internally displaced. Nearly 10.8 million new displacement statistics are linked to the ongoing tension in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Syria, and the rise in intercommunal tensions in Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Nigeria’s Middle Belt region.
Statelessness is a global human rights problem affecting almost 10 million individuals around the globe. There are many reasons that could lead to a person becoming stateless including sovereign, legal, technical, or administrative decisions or oversights. However, there is no way to fully comprehend the true magnitude of this problem because there simply aren’t enough statistics conducted about this topic.
Causes for this displacement crisis
Both war and persecution are considered the main causes of this crisis. People have been persecuted unjustly for religious, national, social, racial, and political reasons for years. In addition, The wars in Syria and South Sudan alone have caused the displacement of almost 9 million individuals during the past decade. Other displacements are a direct result of Human rights violations. Many countries discriminate and violate the basic human rights of their citizens which resulted in them leaving their homes behind.
Moreover, hunger is another main reason. In fact, in Africa, one of the main reasons for the displacement of about 17 million persons is hunger.
However, there are other non-man made reasons that played a key role in increasing this crisis as well. Natural disasters, as well as climate change, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcano eruptions, and droughts, have caused the displacement of more than 18.8 million people. Furthermore, scientists have estimated that within the next 83 years almost 13 million people will be displaced as a direct result of climate change.
Lastly, people are forced to flee their country based on Gender or Sexual Orientation reasons. Since LGBTI individuals are targets for homophobic violence and laws in many countries from all around the globe, in 2012 the UNHCR updated its guidelines to include refugees for reasons of gender or sexual orientation. Additionally, many women are forced to displace in order to flee from their abusers.
In brief, Each day hundreds of people are forced to run from their homes and countries in order to survive. They escape from a nightmare with almost nothing but their scarred souls in the hope of finding a better tomorrow for themselves and their family. Thus, aiding them is the only humane course of action possible.
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