- In 2022, 103 million people globally were forcibly displaced from their homes – the largest amount ever.
Refugees and asylum seekers flee their home due to fear of persecution, war, or violence.
The number globally has reached a record high. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), by mid 2022 – the largest amount ever – 103 million million people around the world were on the move, having been forcibly displaced from their homes.
The majority of refugees currently come from Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia.
The process of seeking asylum is often long, uncertain, and dangerous. For many it’s a dangerous journey to reach a country where they can apply for asylum, often facing the challenges of language barriers, discrimination, and limited access to education and employment.
The international community has a responsibility to provide protection to refugees and asylum seekers. The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol established the rights and protections of refugees, including the right not to be returned to a country where they would face persecution.
What people don’t understand is that almost no one leaves their home, their people, their country, unless they absolutely have no choice, unless their life depends on it.
However, the global response has been mixed. Some countries have taken in large numbers of refugees, while others have closed their borders and erected physical and legal barriers –with often tragic results.
Climate change is now creating climate refugees – people who are fleeing their homes due to environmental disasters. The number of climate refugees is increasing rapidly. The majority of these refugees come from developing regions, where people are already often living precariously.
The impact of climate refugees on the environment, economy, and social stability of a host country is immense. A sudden influx of people can lead to overcrowding, and a rapid mixing of cultures and ethnicities can lead to social unrest.
It is crucial we take action to support refugees, while also working to mitigate the effects of climate change. While this issue is complex, it’s crucial we don’t forget our common humanity – that under different circumstances, this could be any of us.
At i=Change, we’re committed to helping our NGO partners provide skills training, legal and psychosocial support to refugees and asylum seekers in their journey to resettle and be of value in a new country.
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