20 June 2014

A record-breaking 51.2 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide in 2013, UNHCR’s annual Global Trends, published today, shows. This represents an average of 32,200 persons per day – or one person every four seconds – forced to leave their homes due to persecution, conflict, or human rights violations.

These record-breaking numbers are attributed mainly to crises in Syria, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In a dramatic and troubling turn-around Syria has gone from being the world’s second largest refugee-hosting country to being its second largest refugee-producing country – within a span of just five years. In August 2013, the one millionth Syrian refugee child was registered by UNHCR. A few weeks later, the total number of Syrian refugees had passed two million.

Of the more than 50 million total displaced globally, approximately 16.7 million are refugees, 1.1 million are asylum seekers, and 33.3 million are internally displaced persons (IDPs). Children made up half of the refugee population last year.

Developing countries took responsibility of hosting 86 per cent of the world’s refugees last year, while the Least Developed Countries alone provided asylum to 24 per cent of the global total.

This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 20 June 2014.
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