Refugee
Overview
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until recognized by the state where she makes her claim. Under the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is an international convention that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. The Convention also sets out which people do not...

 of 1951, a refugee is more narrowly defined (in Article 1A) as a person who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country".
Encyclopedia
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until recognized by the state where she makes her claim. Under the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is an international convention that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. The Convention also sets out which people do not...

 of 1951, a refugee is more narrowly defined (in Article 1A) as a person who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country". The concept of a refugee was expanded by the Convention's 1967 Protocol and by regional conventions in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 and Latin America
Latin America
Latin America is a region of the Americas where Romance languages  – particularly Spanish and Portuguese, and variably French – are primarily spoken. Latin America has an area of approximately 21,069,500 km² , almost 3.9% of the Earth's surface or 14.1% of its land surface area...

 to include persons who had fled war
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

 or other violence
Violence
Violence is the use of physical force to apply a state to others contrary to their wishes. violence, while often a stand-alone issue, is often the culmination of other kinds of conflict, e.g...

 in their home country. Refugee women and children
Refugee women and children
Refugee camps serve as microcosms of poverty-stricken societies. While on a much smaller scale than an entire country, many of the same problems that plague the developing world also affect refugee camps and their inhabitants. Many problems are exacerbated by the close quarters, new environment,...

 represent an additional subsection of refugees that need special attention. For the refugee system to work successfully, countries must be prepared to allow Open borders for people fleeing conflict, particularly for countries closest to the conflict.

The term refugee is often used to include displaced persons who may fall outside the legal definition in the Convention, either because they have left their home countries because of war and not because of a fear of persecution, or because they have been forced to migrate within their home countries. The Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa, adopted by the Organization of African Unity in 1969, employs a definition expanded from the Convention's, including people who left their countries of origin not only because of persecution but also due to acts of external aggression, occupation, domination by foreign powers or serious disturbances of public order.

Refugees were defined as a legal group in response to the large numbers of people fleeing Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is the eastern part of Europe. The term has widely disparate geopolitical, geographical, cultural and socioeconomic readings, which makes it highly context-dependent and even volatile, and there are "almost as many definitions of Eastern Europe as there are scholars of the region"...

 following World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. The lead international agency coordinating refugee protection is the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , also known as The UN Refugee Agency is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to...

 (UNHCR), which counted 8,400,000 refugees worldwide at the beginning of 2006. This was the lowest number since 1980. The major exception is the 4,600,000 Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugee
Palestinian refugees or Palestine refugees are the people and their descendants, predominantly Palestinian Arabic-speakers, who fled or were expelled from their homes during and after the 1948 Palestine War, within that part of the British Mandate of Palestine, that after that war became the...

s under the authority of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is a relief and human development agency, providing education, health care, social services and emergency aid to 5 million Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza...

 (UNRWA), who are the only group to be granted refugee status to the descendants of refugees according to the above definition. The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants gives the world total as 62,000,000 refugees and estimates there are over 34,000,000 displaced by war, including internally displaced person
Internally displaced person
An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the current legal definition of a refugee. At the end of 2006 it was estimated there were...

s, who remain within the same national borders. The majority of refugees who leave their country seek asylum in countries neighboring their country of nationality. The "durable solutions" to refugee populations, as defined by UNHCR and governments, are: voluntary repatriation to the country of origin; local integration into the country of asylum; and resettlement to a third country.

As of December 31, 2005, the largest source countries of refugees are Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, Myanmar
Myanmar
Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

, Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

, South Sudan
South Sudan
South Sudan , officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country located in the Sahel region of northeastern Africa. It is also part of the North Africa UN sub-region. Its current capital is Juba, which is also its largest city; the capital city is planned to be moved to the more...

, and the Palestinian Territories. The country with the largest number of IDP
Internally displaced person
An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the current legal definition of a refugee. At the end of 2006 it was estimated there were...

s is South Sudan, with over 5 million. As of 2006, with 800,000 refugees and IDPs, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 had the highest per capita IDP population in the world.

History

The notion that a person who sought sanctuary in a holy place could not be harmed without inviting divine retribution was familiar to the ancient Greeks
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 and ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt
Ancient Egypt was an ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now the modern country of Egypt. Egyptian civilization coalesced around 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh...

ians. However, the right to seek asylum
Right of asylum
Right of asylum is an ancient juridical notion, under which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs in his or her own country may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or church sanctuaries...

 in a church or other holy place was first codified in law by King Ethelbert of Kent
Ethelbert of Kent
Æthelberht was King of Kent from about 580 or 590 until his death. In his Ecclesiastical History of the English People, the eighth-century monk Bede lists Aethelberht as the third king to hold imperium over other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms...

 in about 600 A.D. Similar laws were implemented throughout Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

. The related concept of political exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

 also has a long history: Ovid
Ovid
Publius Ovidius Naso , known as Ovid in the English-speaking world, was a Roman poet who is best known as the author of the three major collections of erotic poetry: Heroides, Amores, and Ars Amatoria...

 was sent to Tomis; Voltaire
Voltaire
François-Marie Arouet , better known by the pen name Voltaire , was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher famous for his wit and for his advocacy of civil liberties, including freedom of religion, free trade and separation of church and state...

 was sent to England. Through the 1648 Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October of 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the...

, nations recognized each others' sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

. However, it was not until the advent of romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

 in late 18th century Europe that nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 gained sufficient prevalence for the phrase 'country of nationality' to become practically meaningful, and for people crossing borders to be required to provide identification.
The term 'refugee' is sometimes applied to people who may have fit the definition outlined by the 1951 Convention, were it to be applied retroactively. There are many candidates. For example, after the Edict of Fontainebleau
Edict of Fontainebleau
The Edict of Fontainebleau was an edict issued by Louis XIV of France, also known as the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. The Edict of Nantes of 1598, had granted the Huguenots the right to practice their religion without persecution from the state...

 in 1685 outlawed Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 in France, hundreds of thousands of Huguenot
Huguenot
The Huguenots were members of the Protestant Reformed Church of France during the 16th and 17th centuries. Since the 17th century, people who formerly would have been called Huguenots have instead simply been called French Protestants, a title suggested by their German co-religionists, the...

s fled to England, the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Germany and Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

. The repeated waves of pogrom
Pogrom
A pogrom is a form of violent riot, a mob attack directed against a minority group, and characterized by killings and destruction of their homes and properties, businesses, and religious centres...

s that swept Eastern Europe in the 19th and early 20th century prompted mass Jewish emigration (more than 2 million Russian Jews
History of the Jews in Russia and the Soviet Union
The vast territories of the Russian Empire at one time hosted the largest populations of Jews in the diaspora. Within these territories the Jewish community flourished and developed many of modern Judaism's most distinctive theological and cultural traditions, while also facing periods of...

 emigrated in the period 1881–1920). From the 19th century, a large portion of the Muslim peoples (termed 'Muhacir
Muhajir (Turkey)
Muhacir is a term of Arabic origin in Turkish language, used across ethnicities, and that corresponds to people whose ancestors migrated from formerly Muslim territories , considered lost to the non-Muslims : the Balkans Muhacir (sometimes maacir in colloquial Turkish) is a term of Arabic origin...

' under a general definition) of the Balkans
Balkans
The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

, Caucasus
Caucasus
The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

, Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

 and Crete
Crete
Crete is the largest and most populous of the Greek islands, the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece. It forms a significant part of the economy and cultural heritage of Greece while retaining its own local cultural traits...

 took refuge in present-day Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and shaped that country's fundamental features. The Balkan Wars
Balkan Wars
The Balkan Wars were two conflicts that took place in the Balkans in south-eastern Europe in 1912 and 1913.By the early 20th century, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, the countries of the Balkan League, had achieved their independence from the Ottoman Empire, but large parts of their ethnic...

 of 1912–1913 caused 800,000 people to leave their homes. Various groups of people were officially designated refugees beginning in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

League of Nations

The first international co-ordination on refugee affairs came with the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

' appointment of Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Nansen
Fridtjof Wedel-Jarlsberg Nansen was a Norwegian explorer, scientist, diplomat, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. In his youth a champion skier and ice skater, he led the team that made the first crossing of the Greenland interior in 1888, and won international fame after reaching a...

 to the newly-created post of High Commissioner for Refugees. This position, and the attendant Commission, was set up in 1921 to assist the approximately 1,500,000 people who fled the Russian Revolution of 1917
Russian Revolution of 1917
The Russian Revolution is the collective term for a series of revolutions in Russia in 1917, which destroyed the Tsarist autocracy and led to the creation of the Soviet Union. The Tsar was deposed and replaced by a provisional government in the first revolution of February 1917...

 and the subsequent civil war
Russian Civil War
The Russian Civil War was a multi-party war that occurred within the former Russian Empire after the Russian provisional government collapsed to the Soviets, under the domination of the Bolshevik party. Soviet forces first assumed power in Petrograd The Russian Civil War (1917–1923) was a...

 (1917–1921), most of them aristocrats fleeing the Communist government. In 1923, the mandate of the Commission was expanded to include the more than one million Armenians who left Turkish Asia Minor
Asia Minor
Asia Minor is a geographical location at the westernmost protrusion of Asia, also called Anatolia, and corresponds to the western two thirds of the Asian part of Turkey...

 in 1915 and 1923 due to a series of events now known as the Armenian Genocide
Armenian Genocide
The Armenian Genocide—also known as the Armenian Holocaust, the Armenian Massacres and, by Armenians, as the Great Crime—refers to the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I...

. Over the next several years, the mandate was expanded to include Assyrian
Assyrian people
The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

s and Turkish refugees. In all of these cases, a refugee was defined as a person in a group for which the League of Nations had approved a mandate, as opposed to a person to whom a general definition applied.

The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey
Population exchange between Greece and Turkey
The 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey was based upon religious identity, and involved the Greek Orthodox citizens of Turkey and the Muslim citizens of Greece...

 involved some two million people, most forcibly made refugees and de jure denaturalized from homelands of centuries or millennia, in a treaty promoted and overseen by the international community as part of the Treaty of Lausanne
Treaty of Lausanne
The Treaty of Lausanne was a peace treaty signed in Lausanne, Switzerland on 24 July 1923, that settled the Anatolian and East Thracian parts of the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire. The treaty of Lausanne was ratified by the Greek government on 11 February 1924, by the Turkish government on 31...

.

The U.S. Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act
Emergency Quota Act
The Emergency Quota Act, also known as the Emergency Immigration Act of 1921, the Immigration Restriction Act of 1921, the Per Centum Law, and the Johnson Quota Act restricted immigration into the United States...

 in 1921, followed by the Immigration Act of 1924
Immigration Act of 1924
The Immigration Act of 1924, or Johnson–Reed Act, including the National Origins Act, and Asian Exclusion Act , was a United States federal law that limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already...

. The Immigration Act of 1924 was aimed at further restricting the Southern and Eastern Europeans, especially Jews, Italians and Slavs, who had begun to enter the country in large numbers beginning in the 1890s. Most of the European refugees (principally Jews
Jews
The Jews , also known as the Jewish people, are a nation and ethnoreligious group originating in the Israelites or Hebrews of the Ancient Near East. The Jewish ethnicity, nationality, and religion are strongly interrelated, as Judaism is the traditional faith of the Jewish nation...

 and Slavs) fleeing Stalin, the Nazis and World War II were barred from coming to the United States.
In 1930, the Nansen International Office for Refugees was established as a successor agency to the Commission. Its most notable achievement was the Nansen passport
Nansen passport
Nansen passports were internationally recognized identity cards first issued by the League of Nations to stateless refugees.-Origins:Designed in 1921 by Fridtjof Nansen, in 1942 they were honored by governments in 52 countries and were the first refugee travel documents...

, a passport
Passport
A passport is a document, issued by a national government, which certifies, for the purpose of international travel, the identity and nationality of its holder. The elements of identity are name, date of birth, sex, and place of birth....

 for refugees, for which it was awarded the 1938 Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

. The Nansen Office was plagued by problems of financing, an increase in refugee numbers, and a lack of co-operation from some member states, which led to mixed success overall. However, it managed to lead fourteen nations to ratify the Refugee Convention of 1933, an early, and relatively modest, attempt at a human rights
Human rights
Human rights are "commonly understood as inalienable fundamental rights to which a person is inherently entitled simply because she or he is a human being." Human rights are thus conceived as universal and egalitarian . These rights may exist as natural rights or as legal rights, in both national...

 charter, and in general assisted around one million refugees worldwide.

The rise of Nazism
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 led to such a severe increase in the number of refugees from Germany that in 1933 the League created a High Commission for Refugees Coming from Germany. On July 4, 1936 an agreement was signed under League auspices that defined a refugee coming from Germany as "any person who was settled in that country, who does not possess any nationality other than German nationality, and in respect of whom it is established that in law or in fact he or she does not enjoy the protection of the Government of the Reich" (article 1). The mandate of this High Commission was subsequently expanded to include persons from Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 and Sudetenland
Sudetenland
Sudetenland is the German name used in English in the first half of the 20th century for the northern, southwest and western regions of Czechoslovakia inhabited mostly by ethnic Germans, specifically the border areas of Bohemia, Moravia, and those parts of Silesia being within Czechoslovakia.The...

. 150,000 Czechs were displaced after October 1, 1938, when the German army entered the border regions of Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 surrendered in accordance with the Munich Agreement
Munich Agreement
The Munich Pact was an agreement permitting the Nazi German annexation of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland. The Sudetenland were areas along Czech borders, mainly inhabited by ethnic Germans. The agreement was negotiated at a conference held in Munich, Germany, among the major powers of Europe without...

.

On 31 December 1938, both the Nansen Office and High Commission were dissolved and replaced by the Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees under the Protection of the League. This coincided with the flight of several hundred thousand Spanish Republicans to France after their loss to the Nationalists in 1939 in the Spanish Civil War
Spanish Civil War
The Spanish Civil WarAlso known as The Crusade among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War among Carlists, and The Rebellion or Uprising among Republicans. was a major conflict fought in Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939...

.

World War II and UNHCR

The conflict and political instability during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 led to massive amounts of enforced migration
Human migration
Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

 (see World War II evacuation and expulsion
World War II evacuation and expulsion
Forced deportation, mass evacuation and displacement of peoples took place in many of the countries involved in World War II. These were caused both by the direct hostilities between Axis and Allied powers, and the border changes enacted in the pre-war settlement...

). By the end of World War II, Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 had more than 40 million refugees. In 1943, the Allies
Allies of World War II
The Allies of World War II were the countries that opposed the Axis powers during the Second World War . Former Axis states contributing to the Allied victory are not considered Allied states...

 created the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration was an international relief agency, largely dominated by the United States but representing 44 nations. Founded in 1943, it became part of the United Nations in 1945, was especially active in 1945 and 1946, and largely shut down...

 (UNRRA) to provide aid to areas liberated from Axis powers, including parts of Europe and China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. This included returning over seven million refugees, then commonly referred to as displaced person
Displaced person
A displaced person is a person who has been forced to leave his or her native place, a phenomenon known as forced migration.- Origin of term :...

s or DPs, to their country of origin and setting up displaced persons camp
Displaced persons camp
A displaced persons camp or DP camp is a temporary facility for displaced persons coerced into forced migration. The term is mainly used for camps established after World War II in West Germany and in Austria, as well as in the United Kingdom, primarily for refugees from Eastern Europe and for the...

s for one million refugees who refused to be repatriated.

In the last months of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 some five million German civilians from the German provinces of East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia fled the onslaught of the Red Army and became refugees in Mecklenburg, Brandenburg and Saxony. After the capitulation of the Wehrmacht in May 1945 the Allies occupied Germany in the borders as they were on 31 December 1937, as agreed to in the Berlin declaration of 5 June 1945. Since the spring of 1945 the Poles had been forcefully expelling the remaining German population in these provinces in a program of ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing
Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

. When the Allies met in Potsdam on 17 July 1945 at the Potsdam Conference
Potsdam Conference
The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 16 July to 2 August 1945. Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States...

, a chaotic refugee situation faced the occupying powers. On 2 August 1945, they established the Potsdam protocol. Article IX placed one fourth of Germany's territory under provisional Polish administration and Article XIII ordered that the remaining German populations in Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary be transferred West in an "orderly and humane" manner.

Although not approved by Allies at Potsdam, hundreds of thousands of ethnic German
Ethnic German
Ethnic Germans historically also ), also collectively referred to as the German diaspora, refers to people who are of German ethnicity. Many are not born in Europe or in the modern-day state of Germany or hold German citizenship...

 living in Yugoslavia and Romania were deported to slave labour in the Soviet Union, to Allied-occupied Germany
Allied Control Council
The Allied Control Council or Allied Control Authority, known in the German language as the Alliierter Kontrollrat and also referred to as the Four Powers , was a military occupation governing body of the Allied Occupation Zones in Germany after the end of World War II in Europe...

, and subsequently to the German Democratic Republic, Austria and the Federal Republic of Germany. This entailed the largest population transfer
Population transfer
Population transfer is the movement of a large group of people from one region to another by state policy or international authority, most frequently on the basis of ethnicity or religion...

 in history. In all 15 million Germans were affected, and more than two million perished during the expulsion of the German population
Expulsion of Germans after World War II
The later stages of World War II, and the period after the end of that war, saw the forced migration of millions of German nationals and ethnic Germans from various European states and territories, mostly into the areas which would become post-war Germany and post-war Austria...

. (See German exodus from Eastern Europe
German exodus from Eastern Europe
The German exodus from Eastern Europe describes the dramatic reduction of ethnic German populations in lands to the east of present-day Germany and Austria. The exodus began in the aftermath of World War I and was implicated in the rise of Nazism. It culminated in expulsions of Germans from...

.) Between the end of World War II and the erection of the Berlin Wall
Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic starting on 13 August 1961, that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin...

 in 1961, more than 563,700 refugees from East Germany traveled to West Germany
West Germany
West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

 for asylum from the Soviet occupation.

During the same period, millions of former Russian citizens were forcefully repatriated
Operation Keelhaul
Operation Keelhaul was carried out in Northern Italy by British and American forces to repatriate Soviet Armed Forces POWs of the Nazis to the Soviet Union between August 14, 1946 and May 9, 1947...

 against their will into the USSR. On 11 February 1945, at the conclusion of the Yalta Conference
Yalta Conference
The Yalta Conference, sometimes called the Crimea Conference and codenamed the Argonaut Conference, held February 4–11, 1945, was the wartime meeting of the heads of government of the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union, represented by President Franklin D...

, the United States and United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 signed a Repatriation Agreement with the USSR. The interpretation of this Agreement resulted in the forcible repatriation of all Soviets regardless of their wishes. When the war ended in May 1945, British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and U.S.
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 civilian authorities ordered their military forces in Europe to deport to the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 millions of former residents of the USSR, including many persons who had left Russia and established different citizenship decades before. The forced repatriation operations took place from 1945 to 1947.

At the end of World War II, there were more than 5 million "displaced persons" from the Soviet Union in the Western Europe
Western Europe
Western Europe is a loose term for the collection of countries in the western most region of the European continents, though this definition is context-dependent and carries cultural and political connotations. One definition describes Western Europe as a geographic entity—the region lying in the...

. About 3 million had been forced laborers
Forced labor in Germany during World War II
The use of forced labour in Nazi Germany and throughout German-occupied Europe during World War II took place on an unprecedented scale. It was a vital part of the German economic exploitation of conquered territories. It also contributed to the mass extermination of populations in German-occupied...

 (Ostarbeiters) in Germany and occupied territories. The Soviet POWs and the Vlasov
Andrey Vlasov
Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov or Wlassow was a Russian Red Army general who collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II.-Early career:...

 men were put under the jurisdiction of SMERSH
SMERSH
SMERSH was the counter-intelligence agency in the Red Army formed in late 1942 or even earlier, but officially founded on April 14, 1943. The name SMERSH was coined by Joseph Stalin...

 (Death to Spies). Of the 5.7 million Soviet prisoners of war
Nazi crimes against Soviet POWs
The Nazi crimes against Soviet Prisoners of War relate to the deliberately genocidal policies taken towards the captured soldiers of the Soviet Union by Nazi Germany...

 captured by the Germans, 3.5 million had died while in German captivity by the end of the war. The survivors on their return to the USSR were treated as traitors (see Order No. 270). Over 1.5 million surviving Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 soldiers imprisoned by the Nazis were sent to the Gulag
Gulag
The Gulag was the government agency that administered the main Soviet forced labor camp systems. While the camps housed a wide range of convicts, from petty criminals to political prisoners, large numbers were convicted by simplified procedures, such as NKVD troikas and other instruments of...

.

Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 and Soviet Ukraine conducted population exchanges – Poles
Poles
thumb|right|180px|The state flag of [[Poland]] as used by Polish government and diplomatic authoritiesThe Polish people, or Poles , are a nation indigenous to Poland. They are united by the Polish language, which belongs to the historical Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages of Central Europe...

 who resided east of the newly established Poland-Soviet border were deported to Poland (ca. 2,100,000 persons) (see Repatriation of Poles
Repatriation of Poles (1944–1946)
The Polish population transfers from the former eastern territories of Poland also known as the flight and expulsion of Poles towards the end – and in the aftermath – of World War II refer to the forced migration of Poles between 1944–1946...

) and Ukrainians
Ukrainians
Ukrainians are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Ukraine, which is the sixth-largest nation in Europe. The Constitution of Ukraine applies the term 'Ukrainians' to all its citizens...

 residing west of the new border were deported to Soviet Ukraine. Population transfer
Population transfer in the Soviet Union
Population transfer in the Soviet Union may be classified into the following broad categories: deportations of "anti-Soviet" categories of population, often classified as "enemies of workers," deportations of entire nationalities, labor force transfer, and organized migrations in opposite...

 to Soviet Ukraine occurred from September 1944 to May 1946 (ca. 450,000 persons) (see Repatriation of Ukrainians). Some Ukrainians (ca. 200,000 persons) left southeast Poland more or less voluntarily (between 1944 and 1945).

The UNRRA was shut down in 1947, at which time it was taken over by the newly instituted International Refugee Organization
International Refugee Organization
The International Refugee Organization was founded on April 20, 1946 to deal with the massive refugee problem created by World War II. A Preparatory Commission began operations fourteen months previously. It was a United Nations specialized agency and took over many of the functions of the earlier...

. While the handover was originally planned to take place at the beginning of 1947, it did not occur until July 1947. The International Refugee Organization was a temporary organization of the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 (UN), which itself had been founded in 1945, with a mandate to largely finish the UNRRA's work of repatriating or resettling European refugees. It was dissolved in 1952 after resettling about one million refugees. The definition of a refugee at this time was an individual with either a Nansen passport or a "Certificate of Eligibility" issued by the International Refugee Organization.

UNHCR

Headquartered in Geneva
Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

, Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , also known as The UN Refugee Agency is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to...

 (UNHCR) (established December 14, 1950) protects and supports refugees at the request of a government or the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 and assists in their return or resettlement. All refugees in the world are under the UNHCR mandate except Palestinian Arabs, who fled the future Jewish state
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 between 1947 and 1949 (see below), and their descendants. However, Palestinian Arabs, who fled the West Bank and Gaza after 1949 (for example, during the 1967 Six Day war) are under the jurisdiction of the UNHCR.

UNHCR provides protection and assistance not only to refugees, but also to other categories of displaced or needy people. These include asylum seekers, refugees who have returned home but still need help in rebuilding their lives, local civilian communities directly affected by the movements of refugees, stateless people and so-called internally displaced people (IDPs). IDPs are civilians who have been forced to flee their homes, but who have not reached a neighboring country and therefore, unlike refugees, are not protected by international law and may find it hard to receive any form of assistance. As the nature of war has changed in the last few decades, with more and more internal conflicts replacing interstate wars, the number of IDPs has increased significantly to an estimated 5 million people worldwide.

It succeeded the earlier International Refugee Organization
International Refugee Organization
The International Refugee Organization was founded on April 20, 1946 to deal with the massive refugee problem created by World War II. A Preparatory Commission began operations fourteen months previously. It was a United Nations specialized agency and took over many of the functions of the earlier...

 and the even earlier United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration
The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration was an international relief agency, largely dominated by the United States but representing 44 nations. Founded in 1943, it became part of the United Nations in 1945, was especially active in 1945 and 1946, and largely shut down...

 (which itself succeeded the League of Nations
League of Nations
The League of Nations was an intergovernmental organization founded as a result of the Paris Peace Conference that ended the First World War. It was the first permanent international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace...

' Commissions for Refugees).

UNHCR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 in 1954 and 1981. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country.

Many celebrities are associated with the agency as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador
UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors are celebrity representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees who use their talent and fame to advocate for refugees.-Current Ambassadors:...

s, currently including Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie
Angelina Jolie is an American actress. She has received an Academy Award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and three Golden Globe Awards, and was named Hollywood's highest-paid actress by Forbes in 2009 and 2011. Jolie is noted for promoting humanitarian causes as a Goodwill Ambassador for the...

, Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani is an Italian fashion designer, particularly noted for his menswear. He is known today for his clean, tailored lines. He formed his company, Armani, in 1975, and by 2001 was acclaimed as the most successful designer to come out of Italy, with an annual turnover of $1.6 billion and a...

 and others. The individual who has raised the most money in benefit performances and volunteer work on behalf of UNHCR was Luciano Pavarotti
Luciano Pavarotti
right|thumb|Luciano Pavarotti performing at the opening of the Constantine Palace in [[Strelna]], 31 May 2003. The concert was part of the celebrations for the 300th anniversary of [[St...

.

UNHCR's mandate has gradually been expanded to include protecting and providing humanitarian assistance to what it describes as other persons "of concern," including internally-displaced persons (IDPs) who would fit the legal definition of a refugee under the 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol, the 1969 Organization for African Unity Convention, or some other treaty if they left their country, but who presently remain in their country of origin. UNHCR thus has missions in Colombia
Colombia
Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a state located in Central Africa. It is the second largest country in Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world...

, Serbia and Montenegro
Serbia and Montenegro
Serbia and Montenegro was a country in southeastern Europe, formed from two former republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia : Serbia and Montenegro. Following the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was established in 1992 as a federation called the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...

 and Côte d'Ivoire
Côte d'Ivoire
The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast is a country in West Africa. It has an area of , and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be...

 to assist and provide services to IDPs.
Asia – 8,603,600
Africa – 5,169,300
Europe – 3,666,700
Latin America and Caribbean – 2,513,000
North America – 716,800
Oceania – 82,500.

Law

Under international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

, refugees are individuals who:
  • are outside their country
    Country
    A country is a region legally identified as a distinct entity in political geography. A country may be an independent sovereign state or one that is occupied by another state, as a non-sovereign or formerly sovereign political division, or a geographic region associated with a previously...

     of nationality
    Nationality
    Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

     or habitual residence;
  • have a well-founded fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and
  • are unable or unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.


Refugee law
Refugee law
Refugee law is the branch of international law which deals with the rights and protection of refugees. It is related to, but distinct from, international human rights law and international humanitarian law, which deal respectively with human rights in general, and the conduct of war in...

 encompasses both customary law, peremptory norm
Peremptory norm
A peremptory norm is a fundamental principle of international law which is accepted by the international community of states as a norm from which no derogation is ever permitted.There is no clear agreement regarding precisely which norms are jus cogens nor how a norm reaches that status, but...

s, and international legal instruments. These include:
  • The 1951 United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

     Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
    Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
    The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is an international convention that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. The Convention also sets out which people do not...

    ; also referred to as the Geneva Convention;
  • The 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees;
  • The 1969 OAU Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day occurs on June 20. The day was created in 2000 by a special United Nations General Assembly Resolution. June 20 had previously been commemorated as African Refugee Day in a number of African countries.

In the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 World Refugee Day is celebrated as part of Refugee Week. Refugee Week is a nationwide festival designed to promote understanding and to celebrate the cultural contributions of refugees, and features many events such as music, dance and theatre.

In the Roman Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, the World Day of Migrants and Refugees is celebrated in January each year, having been instituted in 1914 by Pope Pius X.

"Nothing At All" is a folk song by Bob Thomas and Huw Pudner about the plight of a refugee being forced back to his own country against his will.

Asylum seekers

According to international refugee law
Refugee law
Refugee law is the branch of international law which deals with the rights and protection of refugees. It is related to, but distinct from, international human rights law and international humanitarian law, which deal respectively with human rights in general, and the conduct of war in...

, a refugee is someone who seeks refuge in a foreign country because of war and violence, or out of fear of persecution. The United States recognizes persecution "on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group" as grounds for seeking asylum. Until a request for refuge has been accepted, the person is referred to as an asylum seeker. Only after the recognition of the asylum seeker's protection needs, he or she is officially referred to as a refugee and enjoys refugee status, which carries certain rights and obligations according to the legislation of the receiving country.

The practical determination of whether a person is a refugee or not is most often left to certain government agencies within the host country. This can lead to a situation where the country will neither recognize the refugee status of the asylum seekers nor see them as legitimate migrants and treat them as illegal aliens
Alien (law)
In law, an alien is a person in a country who is not a citizen of that country.-Categorization:Types of "alien" persons are:*An alien who is legally permitted to remain in a country which is foreign to him or her. On specified terms, this kind of alien may be called a legal alien of that country...

.

On the other hand, fraudulent requests in an environment of lax enforcement could lead to improper classification as refugee, resulting in the diversion of resources from those with a genuine need. The percentage of asylum/refugee seekers who do not meet the international standards of special-needs refugee, and for whom resettlement is deemed proper, varies from country to country. Failed asylum applicants are most often deported, sometimes after imprisonment or detention, as in the United Kingdom.

A claim for asylum may also be made onshore, usually after making an unauthorized arrival. Some government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s are tolerant and accepting of onshore asylum claims; other governments arrest
Arrest
An arrest is the act of depriving a person of his or her liberty usually in relation to the purported investigation and prevention of crime and presenting into the criminal justice system or harm to oneself or others...

 or detain those who attempt to seek asylum; sometimes while processing their claims.

Non-governmental organizations concerned with refugees and asylum seekers have pointed out difficulties for displaced person
Displaced person
A displaced person is a person who has been forced to leave his or her native place, a phenomenon known as forced migration.- Origin of term :...

s to seek asylum in industrialized countries. As their immigration policy
Immigration policy
An immigration policy is any policy of a state that deals with the transit of persons across its borders into the country, but especially those that intend to work and to remain in the country. Immigration policies can range from allowing no migration at all to allowing most types of migration,...

 often focuses on the fight of irregular migration and the strengthening of border controls it deters displaced person
Displaced person
A displaced person is a person who has been forced to leave his or her native place, a phenomenon known as forced migration.- Origin of term :...

s from entering territory in which they could lodge an asylum claim. The lack of opportunities to legally access the asylum procedures can force asylum seekers to undertake often expensive and hazardous attempts at illegal entry.

Concerns over arbitrariness in asylum adjudication in the United States have led some commentators to describe the process as refugee roulette
Refugee roulette
Refugee roulette refers to arbitrariness in the process of refugee status determinations or, as it is called in the United States, asylum adjudication...

; that is, a system in which the identity of the adjudicator, rather than the strength of the asylum seeker's claim, is the determining factor in winning an asylum claim.

Climate

Although they do not fit the definition of refugees set out in the UN Convention, people displaced by the effects of climate change
Climate change
Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average...

 have often been termed "climate refugees" or "climate change refugees". The term 'environmental refugee' is also commonly used and an estimate 25 million people can currently be classified as such. The alarming predictions by the UN, charities and some environmentalists, that between 200 million and 1 billion people could flood across international borders to escape the impacts of climate change in the next 40 years are unrealistic. Case studies from Bolivia, Senegal and Tanzania, three countries extremely prone to climate change, show that people affected by environmental degradation rarely move across borders. Instead, they adapt to new circumstances by moving short distances for short periods, often to cities. Millions of people live in places that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. They face extreme weather conditions such as droughts or floods. Their lives and livelihoods might be threatened in new ways and create new vulnerabilities. Migration is in many developing countries a coping strategy to mitigate poverty and is already happening independent of the effects of climate change and environmental degradation. It is a selective process and the poorest and most vulnerable people are often excluded as they will find it almost impossible to move due to a lack of necessary funds or social support.

Security threats

Very rarely, refugees have been used and recruited as refugee warriors, and the humanitarian aid directed at refugee relief has very rarely been utilized to fund the acquisition of arms. Support from a refugee-receiving state has rarely been used to enable refugees to mobilize militarily, enabling conflict to spread across borders.

Economic migrants

Not all migrants seeking shelter in another country fall under the definition of "refugee" according to article 1A of the Geneva Convention. In 1951, when the text of the Convention was discussed, the parties of the treaty had the idea that slavery
Slavery
Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

 was a thing from the past: therefore escaped and fleeing slaves are a group not mentioned in the definition, as well as a category that later emerged: the climate refugee
Climate refugee
Environmental migrant refers to the people who are purportedly forced to migrate from or flee their home region due to sudden or long-term changes to their local environment, which is held to include increased droughts, desertification, sea level rise, and disruption of seasonal weather patterns...

 (:Environmental migrant") (see below).

In 2008-2009, the humanitarian nature of the mass movement of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

ans to neighbouring Southern African blurred the distinction between what is a "refugee" and an "economic migrant". Such people fit neither category perfectly and have more general needs, rights and responsibilities, that fall outside the specific mandate of the UNHCR. They fall between the cracks, according to the report Zimbabwean Migration into Southern Africa: New Trends and Responses, released in November 2009 by the Forced Migration Studies Programme (FMSP) at the University of the Witwatersrand
University of the Witwatersrand
The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg is a South African university situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg. It is more commonly known as Wits University...

, South Africa. According to the researchers, a lack of protection of migrants in the region was based on a "false distinction" between a forced and an economic migrant, instead of focusing on the real and urgent needs some of these migrants have. The report suggested that a better term would be "forced humanitarian migrants", who moved for the purpose of their and their dependents' basic survival.

To emphasize the importance of a common humanitarian position on the outflow of Zimbabweans into the region the Regional Office for Southern Africa of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs coined the term "migrants of humanitarian concern" in 2008.

Official responses to Zimbabwean migration in Botswana
Botswana
Botswana, officially the Republic of Botswana , is a landlocked country located in Southern Africa. The citizens are referred to as "Batswana" . Formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, Botswana adopted its new name after becoming independent within the Commonwealth on 30 September 1966...

, Malawi
Malawi
The Republic of Malawi is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Its size...

, Zambia
Zambia
Zambia , officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. The neighbouring countries are the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west....

 and Mozambique
Mozambique
Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique , is a country in southeastern Africa bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west and Swaziland and South Africa to the southwest...

 are still premised on the original definition from the 1951 Convention, and so were said to be failing to protect both Zimbabweans and their own citizens". Those crossing the border were neither refugees - most did not even apply for refugee status - and, given the extent of economic collapse at home, nor they could hardly be considered as "voluntary" economic migrants. So many of them were not legally protected, nor do they receive humanitarian support, as they fell outside the mandates of the support structures offered by government and non-government institutions. In Botswana, Zambia and Malawi, asylum is available to Zimbabweans; in Mozambique, the few applicants for asylum had been rejected due to the state's decision to consider Zimbabweans as 'economic' and not forced humanitarian migrants.

Except for South Africa, protection and access to services in most countries in the region is contingent on receiving the refugee status, and require asylum seekers to stay in isolated camps, unable to work or travel, and thus send money to relatives that stayed behind in Zimbabwe. South Africa was considering the introduction of a special permit for Zimbabweans, but the policy was still under review.

Boat people

The term "boat people" came into common use in the 1970s with the mass exodus of Vietnamese refugees following the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

. It is a widely used form of migration for people migrating from Cuba
Cuba
The Republic of Cuba is an island nation in the Caribbean. The nation of Cuba consists of the main island of Cuba, the Isla de la Juventud, and several archipelagos. Havana is the largest city in Cuba and the country's capital. Santiago de Cuba is the second largest city...

, Haiti
Haiti
Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

, Morocco
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 or Albania
Albania
Albania , officially known as the Republic of Albania , is a country in Southeastern Europe, in the Balkans region. It is bordered by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, the Republic of Macedonia to the east and Greece to the south and southeast. It has a coast on the Adriatic Sea...

. They often risk their lives on dangerously crude and overcrowded boats to escape oppression or poverty
Poverty
Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

 in their home nations. Events resulting from the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 led many people in Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

, and especially Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 to become refugees in the late 1970s and 1980s. In 2001, 353 asylum seekers sailing from Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

 to Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 drowned when their vessel sank
SIEV X
SIEV X stands for Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel X. SIEV is the acronym used by the surveillance authority for any boat that has entered Australian waters without prior authorisation and the X is a designation where a tracking number has not or is yet to be assigned, in accordance with Australian...

.

The main danger to a boat person is that the boat he or she is sailing in may actually be anything that floats and is large enough for passengers. Although such makeshift craft can result in tragedy, in 2003 a small group of 5 Cuban
Cubans
Cubans or Cuban people are the inhabitants or citizens of Cuba. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...

 refugees attempted (unsuccessfully, but un-harmed) to reach Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

 in a 1950s pickup truck made buoyant by oil barrels strapped to its sides.

Boat people are frequently a source of controversy in the nation they seek to immigrate to, such as the United States, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, Germany, France, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, Spain and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. Boat people are often forcibly prevented from landing at their destination, such as under Australia's Pacific Solution
Pacific Solution
The Pacific Solution was the name given to the Australian government policy of transporting asylum seekers to detention camps on small island nations in the Pacific Ocean, rather than allowing them to land on the Australian mainland...

 (which operated from 2001 until 2008), or they are subjected to mandatory detention after their arrival.

Camps


A refugee camp is a place built by government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

s or NGO
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s (such as the International Committee of the Red Cross
International Committee of the Red Cross
The International Committee of the Red Cross is a private humanitarian institution based in Geneva, Switzerland. States parties to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 and 2005, have given the ICRC a mandate to protect the victims of international and...

) to receive refugees. People may stay in these camps, receiving emergency food and medical aid, until it is safe to return to their homes or until they are retrieved by other people outside the camps. In some cases, often after several years, other countries decide it will never be safe to return these people, and they are resettled in "third countries", away from the border they crossed. However, more often than not, refugees are not resettled. In the meantime, they are at risk for disease, child soldier recruitment, terrorist recruitment, and physical and sexual violence. There are estimated to be 700 refugee camp locations.

Resettlement

State Quota (2001) Year established
United States 80,000 1980
Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

15,000 Unknown
Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

11,000 1978
Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

1,500 Unknown
Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

1,375 1950
New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

750 1979
Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

750 1979
Denmark
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

517 1989
Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

500 1984

Resettlement involves the assisted movement of refugees who are unable to return home to safe third countries. The UNHCR has traditionally seen resettlement as the least preferable of the "durable solutions" to refugee situations. However, in April 2000 the then UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata
Sadako Ogata
, is a Japanese academic, diplomat, author, administrator and professor emeritus at Sophia University.-Early life:Sadako Nakamura was born in 1927...

, stated:
UNHCR referred more than 121,000 refugees for consideration for resettlement in 2008. This was the highest number for 15 years. In 2007, 98,999 people were referred. UNHCR referred 33,512 refugees from Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, 30,388 from Burma/Myanmar and 23,516 from Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

 in 2008.

In terms of resettlement departures, in 2008, 65,548 refugees were resettled in 26 countries, up from 49,868 in 2007. The largest number of UNHCR-assisted departures were from Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 (16,807), Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

 (8,165), Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

 (7,153), Jordan
Jordan
Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

 (6,704) and Malaysia (5,865). Note that these are the countries that refugees were resettled from, not their countries of origin.

A number of third countries run specific resettlement programmes in co-operation with UNHCR. The size of these programmes is shown in the table. The largest programmes are run by the United States, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. A number of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an countries run smaller schemes and in 2004 the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 established its own scheme, known as the Gateway Protection Programme
Gateway Protection Programme
The Gateway Protection Programme is a scheme operated by the UK Border Agency in partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , offering a legal route for a quota of UNHCR-identified refugees to settle in the United Kingdom...

 with an initial annual quota of 500, which rose to 750 in the financial year 2008/09.

In September 2009, the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 unveiled plans for new Joint EU Resettlement Programme. The scheme would involve EU member states deciding together each year which refugees should be given priority. Member states would receive €4,000 from the European Refugee Fund per refugee resettled.

Between 1981, when Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 ratified the U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, and 2002, Japan recognized only 305 persons as refugees. According to the UNHCR, in 2006 Japan accepted 26 refugees for resettlement.

Right of return

Even in a supposedly "post-conflict" environment, it is not a simple process for refugees to return home. The UN Pinheiro Principles are guided by the idea that not only people have the right to return home, but also to the same property. It seeks to return to the pre-conflict status quo and ensure that no one profits from the violence. Yet this is a very complex issue and every situation is different, conflict is a highly transformative force and the pre-war status-quo can never be reestablished completely, even if that were desirable (it may have caused the conflict in the first place). Therefore, the following are of particular importance to the right to return:
  • may never have had property (e.g. in Afghanistan);
  • cannot access what property they have (Colombia, Guatemala, South Africa and Sudan);
  • ownership is unclear as families have expanded or split and division of the land becomes an issue;
  • death of owner may leave dependents without clear claim to the land;
  • people settled on the land know it is not theirs but have nowhere else to go (as in Colombia, Rwanda and Timor-Leste); and
  • have competing claims with others, including the state and its foreign or local business partners (as in Aceh, Angola, Colombia, Liberia and Sudan).

Movements in Africa

Since the 1950s, many nations in Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 have suffered civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

s and ethnic strife, thus generating a massive number of refugees of many different nationalities
Nationality
Nationality is membership of a nation or sovereign state, usually determined by their citizenship, but sometimes by ethnicity or place of residence, or based on their sense of national identity....

 and ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

s. The division of Africa into Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an colonies
Colonialism
Colonialism is the establishment, maintenance, acquisition and expansion of colonies in one territory by people from another territory. It is a process whereby the metropole claims sovereignty over the colony and the social structure, government, and economics of the colony are changed by...

 in 1885, along which lines the newly independent nations of the 1950s and 1960s drew their borders, has been cited as a major reason why Africa has been so plagued with intrastate warfare. The number of refugees in Africa increased from 860,000 in 1968 to 6,775,000 by 1992. By the end of 2004, that number had dropped to 2,748,400 refugees, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. (That figure does not include internally displaced person
Internally displaced person
An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the current legal definition of a refugee. At the end of 2006 it was estimated there were...

s, who do not cross international borders and so do not fit the official definition of refugee.)

Many refugees in Africa cross into neighboring countries to find haven; often, African countries are simultaneously countries of origin for refugees and countries of asylum for other refugees. The Democratic Republic of Congo, for instance, was the country of origin for 462,203 refugees at the end of 2004, but a country of asylum for 199,323 other refugees.

Countries in Africa from where 5,000 or more refugees originated as of the end of 2004, arranged in descending order of numbers of refugees are listed below. The largest number of refugees are from Sudan and have fled either the longstanding and recently concluded Sudanese Civil War
Second Sudanese Civil War
The Second Sudanese Civil War started in 1983, although it was largely a continuation of the First Sudanese Civil War of 1955 to 1972. Although it originated in southern Sudan, the civil war spread to the Nuba mountains and Blue Nile by the end of the 1980s....

 or the Darfur conflict
Darfur conflict
The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and Justice and Equality Movement groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in...

 and are located mainly in Chad
Chad
Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

, Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

, Ethiopia
Ethiopia
Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

, and Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

.
  • Angola
    Angola
    Angola, officially the Republic of Angola , is a country in south-central Africa bordered by Namibia on the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo on the north, and Zambia on the east; its west coast is on the Atlantic Ocean with Luanda as its capital city...

    : 228,838
  • Burundi
    Burundi
    Burundi , officially the Republic of Burundi , is a landlocked country in the Great Lakes region of Eastern Africa bordered by Rwanda to the north, Tanzania to the east and south, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west. Its capital is Bujumbura...

    : 485,764
  • Cameroon
    Cameroon
    Cameroon, officially the Republic of Cameroon , is a country in west Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the west; Chad to the northeast; the Central African Republic to the east; and Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo to the south. Cameroon's coastline lies on the...

    : 7,629
  • Central African Republic
    Central African Republic
    The Central African Republic , is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It borders Chad in the north, Sudan in the north east, South Sudan in the east, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Republic of the Congo in the south, and Cameroon in the west. The CAR covers a land area of about ,...

    : 31,069
  • Chad
    Chad
    Chad , officially known as the Republic of Chad, is a landlocked country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Libya to the north, Sudan to the east, the Central African Republic to the south, Cameroon and Nigeria to the southwest, and Niger to the west...

    : 52,663
  • Côte d'Ivoire
    Côte d'Ivoire
    The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast is a country in West Africa. It has an area of , and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be...

    : 23,655
  • Democratic Republic of Congo: 462,203
  • Eritrea
    Eritrea
    Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

    : 131,119
  • Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

    : 63,105
  • Ghana
    Ghana
    Ghana , officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located in West Africa. It is bordered by Côte d'Ivoire to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, and the Gulf of Guinea to the south...

    : 14,767
  • Liberia
    Liberia
    Liberia , officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Sierra Leone on the west, Guinea on the north and Côte d'Ivoire on the east. Liberia's coastline is composed of mostly mangrove forests while the more sparsely populated inland consists of forests that open...

    : 335,467
  • Nigeria
    Nigeria
    Nigeria , officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a federal constitutional republic comprising 36 states and its Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The country is located in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in...

    : 23,888
  • Republic of the Congo
    Republic of the Congo
    The Republic of the Congo , sometimes known locally as Congo-Brazzaville, is a state in Central Africa. It is bordered by Gabon, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo , the Angolan exclave province of Cabinda, and the Gulf of Guinea.The region was dominated by...

    : 28,152
  • Rwanda
    Rwanda
    Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

    : 63,808
  • Senegal
    Senegal
    Senegal , officially the Republic of Senegal , is a country in western Africa. It owes its name to the Sénégal River that borders it to the east and north...

    : 8,332
  • Sierra Leone
    Sierra Leone
    Sierra Leone , officially the Republic of Sierra Leone, is a country in West Africa. It is bordered by Guinea to the north and east, Liberia to the southeast, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west and southwest. Sierra Leone covers a total area of and has an estimated population between 5.4 and 6.4...

    : 41,801
  • Somalia
    Somalia
    Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

    : 389,272
  • Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

    : 930,612
  • Togo
    Togo
    Togo, officially the Togolese Republic , is a country in West Africa bordered by Ghana to the west, Benin to the east and Burkina Faso to the north. It extends south to the Gulf of Guinea, on which the capital Lomé is located. Togo covers an area of approximately with a population of approximately...

    : 10,819
  • Uganda
    Uganda
    Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

    : 31,963
  • Zimbabwe
    Zimbabwe
    Zimbabwe is a landlocked country located in the southern part of the African continent, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa to the south, Botswana to the southwest, Zambia and a tip of Namibia to the northwest and Mozambique to the east. Zimbabwe has three...

    : 9,568

  • Angola

    Decolonisation during the 1960s and 1970s often resulted in the mass exodus of European-descended
    White African
    White Africans are people of European descent living in Africa, who identify themselves as White....

     settlers out of Africa – especially from North Africa (1.6 million European pieds noirs), Congo, Mozambique and Angola. By the mid-1970s, the Portugal's African territories were lost, and nearly one million Portuguese or persons of Portuguese descent left those territories (mostly Portuguese Angola and Mozambique) as destitute refugees – the retornados.

    The Angolan Civil War
    Angolan Civil War
    The Angolan Civil War was a major civil conflict in the Southern African state of Angola, beginning in 1975 and continuing, with some interludes, until 2002. The war began immediately after Angola became independent from Portugal in November 1975. Prior to this, a decolonisation conflict had taken...

     (1975–2002), one of the largest and deadliest Cold War conflicts, erupted shortly after and spread out across the newly-independent country. At least one million persons were killed, four million were displaced internally and another half million fled as refugees.

    Uganda

    In the 1970s Uganda
    Uganda
    Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

     and other East African nations implemented racist policies that targeted the Asian population of the region. Uganda under Idi Amin
    Idi Amin
    Idi Amin Dada was a military leader and President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King's African Rifles in 1946. Eventually he held the rank of Major General in the post-colonial Ugandan Army and became its Commander before seizing power in the military...

    's leadership was particularly most virulent in its anti-Asian policies, eventually resulting in the expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Uganda's Asian minority
    Expulsion of Asians in Uganda in 1972
    On 4 August 1972, the then President of Uganda, Idi Amin, ordered the expulsion of his country's Indian minority, giving them 90 days to leave Uganda...

    . Uganda's 80,000 Asians were mostly Indians born in the country. India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     had refused to accept them. Most of the expelled Indians eventually settled in the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    , Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

     and in the United States.

    Great Lakes crisis


    In the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan Genocide
    Rwandan Genocide
    The Rwandan Genocide was the 1994 mass murder of an estimated 800,000 people in the small East African nation of Rwanda. Over the course of approximately 100 days through mid-July, over 500,000 people were killed, according to a Human Rights Watch estimate...

    , over two million people fled into neighboring countries, in particular Zaire
    Zaire
    The Republic of Zaire was the name of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo between 27 October 1971 and 17 May 1997. The name of Zaire derives from the , itself an adaptation of the Kongo word nzere or nzadi, or "the river that swallows all rivers".-Self-proclaimed Father of the Nation:In...

    . The refugee camps were soon controlled by the former government and Hutu
    Hutu
    The Hutu , or Abahutu, are a Central African people, living mainly in Rwanda, Burundi, and eastern DR Congo.-Population statistics:The Hutu are the largest of the three peoples in Burundi and Rwanda; according to the United States Central Intelligence Agency, 84% of Rwandans and 85% of Burundians...

     militants who used the camps as bases to launch attacks against the new government in Rwanda
    Rwanda
    Rwanda or , officially the Republic of Rwanda , is a country in central and eastern Africa with a population of approximately 11.4 million . Rwanda is located a few degrees south of the Equator, and is bordered by Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo...

    . Little action was taken to resolve the situation and the crisis did not end until Rwanda-supported rebels forced the refugees back across the border at the beginning of the First Congo War
    First Congo War
    The First Congo War was a revolution in Zaire that replaced President Mobutu Sésé Seko, a decades-long dictator, with rebel leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Destabilization in eastern Zaire that resulted from the Rwandan genocide was the final factor that caused numerous internal and external actors...

    .

    Darfur

    An estimated 2.5 million people, roughly one-third the population of the Darfur
    Darfur
    Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

     area, have been forced to flee their homes after attacks by Janjaweed
    Janjaweed
    The Janjaweed is a blanket term used to describe mostly gunmen in Darfur, western Sudan, and now eastern Chad...

     Arab
    Arab
    Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

     militia backed by Sudanese troops during the ongoing Darfur conflict
    Darfur conflict
    The Darfur Conflict was a guerrilla conflict or civil war centered on the Darfur region of Sudan. It began in February 2003 when the Sudan Liberation Movement/Army and Justice and Equality Movement groups in Darfur took up arms, accusing the Sudanese government of oppressing non-Arab Sudanese in...

     in western Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

     since roughly 2003.
    African refugees in Israel

    Since 2003, an estimated 27,000 illegal immigrants from various African countries have crossed into Israel. Some 600 refugees from the Darfur
    Darfur
    Darfur is a region in western Sudan. An independent sultanate for several hundred years, it was incorporated into Sudan by Anglo-Egyptian forces in 1916. The region is divided into three federal states: West Darfur, South Darfur, and North Darfur...

     region of Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

     have been granted temporary resident status to be renewed every year, though not official refugee state. Another 2,000 refugees from the conflict between Eritrea
    Eritrea
    Eritrea , officially the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea derives it's name from the Greek word Erethria, meaning 'red land'. The capital is Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, and Djibouti in the southeast...

     and Ethiopia
    Ethiopia
    Ethiopia , officially known as the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. It is the second-most populous nation in Africa, with over 82 million inhabitants, and the tenth-largest by area, occupying 1,100,000 km2...

     have been granted temporary resident status on humanitarian grounds. Israel prefers not to recognize them as refugees so as not to offend Eritrea and Ethiopia, though Sudanese, who are from an enemy state, are also not recognized as refugees. In 2007, Israel deported 48 refugees back to Egypt after they succeeded in crossing the border, of which twenty were deported back to Sudan by Egyptian authorities, according to Amnesty International. In August 2008 the Israel Defense Forces deported at least another 91 African asylum seekers at the border. Throughout this year, Egyptian police have shot dead 20 African asylum seekers attempting to enter Israel.

    Western Sahara conflict

    It is estimated that between 165,000 - 200,000 Sahrawis – people from the disputed territory of Western Sahara
    Western Sahara
    Western Sahara is a disputed territory in North Africa, bordered by Morocco to the north, Algeria to the northeast, Mauritania to the east and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Its surface area amounts to . It is one of the most sparsely populated territories in the world, mainly...

     – have lived in five large refugee camps near Tindouf
    Tindouf Province
    Tindouf, also written Tinduf, is the westernmost province of Algeria, having a population of 58,193 as of the 2008 census. Despite the barren landscape, Tindouf is a resource-rich province, with important quantities of iron ore located in the Gara Djebilet area close to the border with Mali...

     in the Algerian part of the Sahara
    Sahara
    The Sahara is the world's second largest desert, after Antarctica. At over , it covers most of Northern Africa, making it almost as large as Europe or the United States. The Sahara stretches from the Red Sea, including parts of the Mediterranean coasts, to the outskirts of the Atlantic Ocean...

     Desert since 1975. The UNHCR and WFP are presently engaged in supporting what they describe as the "90,000 most vulnerable" refugees, giving no estimate for total refugee numbers.

    Algerian War

    The Algerian War of Independence
    Algerian War of Independence
    The Algerian War was a conflict between France and Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which led to Algeria's gaining its independence from France...

     (1954–1962) uprooted more than 2 million Algerians, who were forced to relocate in French camps or to flee to Morocco, Tunisia, and into the Algerian hinterland.

    European-descended population, Pieds-Noirs
    Pied-noir
    Pied-Noir , plural Pieds-Noirs, pronounced , is a term referring to French citizens of various origins who lived in French Algeria before independence....

    , accounted for 10.4% of the total population of Algeria
    Algeria
    Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

     in 1962. In just a few months in 1962, 900,000 of them fled the country in the most massive relocation of population to Europe since the World War II
    World War II
    World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

    . A motto used in the FLN
    National Liberation Front (Algeria)
    The National Liberation Front is a socialist political party in Algeria. It was set up on November 1, 1954 as a merger of other smaller groups, to obtain independence for Algeria from France.- Anticolonial struggle :...

     propaganda designating the Pied-noirs community was "Suitcase or coffin" ("La valise ou le cercueil").

    Libyan Civil War

    Refugees of the 2011 Libyan civil war are the people, predominantly of Libyan nationality, who fled or were expelled from their homes during the 2011 Libyan civil war
    2011 Libyan civil war
    The 2011 Libyan civil war was an armed conflict in the North African state of Libya, fought between forces loyal to Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and those seeking to oust his government. The war was preceded by protests in Benghazi beginning on 15 February 2011, which led to clashes with security...

    , from within the borders of Libya
    Libya
    Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

     to the neighbouring states of Tunisia, Egypt and Chad, as well as to European countries, across the Mediterranean, as Boat people
    Boat people
    Boat people is a term that usually refers to refugees, illegal immigrants or asylum seekers who emigrate in numbers in boats that are sometimes old and crudely made...

    . The majority of Libyan refugees are Arabs and Berbers, though many of other ethnicities, temporarily living in Libya, originated from sub-Saharan Africa, were also among the first refugee waves to exit the country. The total Libyan refugee numbers are estimated at near one million as of June 2011. About half of them had returned to Libyan territory during summer 2011, though large refugee camps on Tunisian and Chad border kept being overpopulated.

    Latin Americans

    More than one million Salvadorans were displaced during the Salvadoran Civil War from 1975 to 1982. About half went to the United States, most settling in the Los Angeles
    Los Ángeles
    Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

     area. There was also a large exodus of Guatemala
    Guatemala
    Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

    ns during the 1980s, trying to escape from the Civil War and genocide
    Genocide
    Genocide is defined as "the deliberate and systematic destruction, in whole or in part, of an ethnic, racial, religious, or national group", though what constitutes enough of a "part" to qualify as genocide has been subject to much debate by legal scholars...

     there as well. These people went to Southern Mexico and the U.S.

    From 1991 through 1994, following the military coup d'état
    Coup d'état
    A coup d'état state, literally: strike/blow of state)—also known as a coup, putsch, and overthrow—is the sudden, extrajudicial deposition of a government, usually by a small group of the existing state establishment—typically the military—to replace the deposed government with another body; either...

     against President Jean-Bertrand Aristide
    Jean-Bertrand Aristide
    Jean-Bertrand Aristide is a Haitian former Catholic priest and politician who served as Haiti's first democratically elected president. A proponent of liberation theology, Aristide was appointed to a parish in Port-au-Prince in 1982 after completing his studies...

    , thousands of Haiti
    Haiti
    Haiti , officially the Republic of Haiti , is a Caribbean country. It occupies the western, smaller portion of the island of Hispaniola, in the Greater Antillean archipelago, which it shares with the Dominican Republic. Ayiti was the indigenous Taíno or Amerindian name for the island...

    ans fled violence and repression by boat. Although most were repatriated to Haiti by the U.S. government, others entered the United States as refugees. Haitians were primarily regarded as economic migrants from the grinding poverty of Haiti, the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere
    Western Hemisphere
    The Western Hemisphere or western hemisphere is mainly used as a geographical term for the half of the Earth that lies west of the Prime Meridian and east of the Antimeridian , the other half being called the Eastern Hemisphere.In this sense, the western hemisphere consists of the western portions...

    .
    The victory of the forces led by Fidel Castro
    Fidel Castro
    Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

     in the Cuban Revolution
    Cuban Revolution
    The Cuban Revolution was an armed revolt by Fidel Castro's 26th of July Movement against the regime of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista between 1953 and 1959. Batista was finally ousted on 1 January 1959, and was replaced by a revolutionary government led by Castro...

     led to a large exodus of Cubans
    Cubans
    Cubans or Cuban people are the inhabitants or citizens of Cuba. Cuba is a multi-ethnic nation, home to people of different ethnic and national backgrounds...

     between 1959 and 1980. Thousands of Cubans yearly continue to risk the waters of the Straits of Florida
    Straits of Florida
    The Straits of Florida, Florida Straits, or Florida Strait is a strait located south-southeast of the North American mainland, generally accepted to be between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, and between the Florida Keys and Cuba. The strait carries the Florida Current, the beginning of...

     seeking better economic and political conditions in the U.S. In 1999 the highly publicized case of six year old Elián González
    Elián González
    The custody and immigration status of a young Cuban boy, Elián González , was at the center of a heated 2000 controversy involving the governments of Cuba and the United States, González's father, Juan Miguel González Quintana, González's other relatives in Miami, Florida, and in Cuba, and Miami's...

     brought the covert migration to international attention. Measures by both governments have attempted to address the issue; the U.S. instituted a wet feet, dry feet policy
    Wet feet, dry feet policy
    The wet foot, dry foot policy is the name given to a consequence of the 1995 revision of the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966 that says, essentially, that anyone who fled Cuba and got into the United States would be allowed to pursue residency a year later...

     allowing refuge to those travelers who manage to complete their journey, and the Cuban government have periodically allowed for mass migration by organizing leaving posts. The most famous of these agreed migrations was the Mariel boatlift
    Mariel boatlift
    The Mariel boatlift was a mass emigration of Cubans who departed from Cuba's Mariel Harbor for the United States between April 15 and October 31, 1980....

     of 1980.

    Colombia
    Colombia
    Colombia, officially the Republic of Colombia , is a unitary constitutional republic comprising thirty-two departments. The country is located in northwestern South America, bordered to the east by Venezuela and Brazil; to the south by Ecuador and Peru; to the north by the Caribbean Sea; to the...

     has one of the world's largest populations of internally displaced person
    Internally displaced person
    An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the current legal definition of a refugee. At the end of 2006 it was estimated there were...

    s (IDPs), with estimates ranging from 2.6 to 4.3 million people, due to the ongoing Colombian armed conflict
    Colombian Armed Conflict
    The Colombian armed conflict or Colombian Civil War are terms that are employed to refer to the current asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict in Colombia that has existed since approximately 1964 or 1966, between the Colombian government and peasant guerrillas such as the Revolutionary Armed...

    . The larger figure is cumulative since 1985. It is now estimated by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
    U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
    The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants is an international advocacy and domestic refugee resettlement organization, headquartered in Washington, DC...

     that there are about 150,000 Colombian
    Colombian people
    Colombian people are from a multiethnic Spanish speaking nation in South America called Colombia. Colombians are predominantly Roman Catholic and are a mixture of Europeans, Africans, and Amerindians.-Demography:...

    s in "refugee-like situations" in the United States, not recognized as refugees or subject to any formal protection.

    United States

    During the Vietnam War
    Vietnam War
    The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

    , many U.S. citizens who were conscientious objectors and wished to avoid the draft sought political asylum in Canada. President Jimmy Carter
    Jimmy Carter
    James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

     issued an amnesty
    Amnesty
    Amnesty is a legislative or executive act by which a state restores those who may have been guilty of an offense against it to the positions of innocent people, without changing the laws defining the offense. It includes more than pardon, in as much as it obliterates all legal remembrance of the...

    . Since 1975, the U.S. has resettled approximately 2.6 million refugees, with nearly 77% being either Indochinese or citizens of the former Soviet Union. Since the enactment of the Refugee Act of 1980, annual admissions figures have ranged from a high of 207,116 in 1980 to a low of 27,100 in 2002.

    Currently, ten national voluntary agencies
    VOLAG
    VOLAG, sometimes spelled Volag or VolAg, is an abbreviation for "Voluntary Agency". This term refers to any of the ten U.S. private agencies and one state agency that have cooperative agreements with the State Department to provide reception and placement services for refugees arriving in the...

     resettle refugees nationwide on behalf of the U.S. government: Church World Service
    Church World Service
    Founded in 1946, Church World Service is a cooperative ministry of 37 Christian denominations and communions in the United States, providing sustainable self-help, development, disaster relief, and refugee assistance around the world...

    , Ethiopian Community Development Council, Episcopal Migration Ministries, Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, International Rescue Committee
    International Rescue Committee
    The International Rescue Committee is a leading nonsectarian, nongovernmental international relief and development organization based in the United States, with operations in over 40 countries...

    , U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
    U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
    The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants is an international advocacy and domestic refugee resettlement organization, headquartered in Washington, DC...

    , Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
    United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
    The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops is the episcopal conference of the Catholic Church in the United States. Founded in 1966 as the joint National Conference of Catholic Bishops and United States Catholic Conference, it is composed of all active and retired members of the Catholic...

    , World Relief
    World Relief
    World Relief is an international relief and development agency. Founded in 1944 as the humanitarian arm of the National Association of Evangelicals, World Relief offers assistance to victims of poverty, disease, hunger, war, disasters and persecution. Headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, the...

     and State of Iowa, Bureau of Refugee Services.

    Jesuit Refugee Service/USA
    Jesuit Refugee Service
    The Jesuit Refugee Service is an international Catholic organization that aids refugees, forcibly displaced peoples, and asylum seekers. JRS operates at national and regional levels. Founded in November, 1980 as a work of the Society of Jesus, JRS was officially registered on March 19, 2000 in...

     (JRS/USA) has worked to help resettle Bhutanese refugees in the United States. The mission of JRS/USA is to accompany, serve and defend the rights of refugees and other forcibly displaced persons. JRS/USA is one of 10 geographic regions of Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic organization sponsored by the Society of Jesus. In coordination with JRS’s International Office in Rome, JRS/USA provides advocacy, financial and human resources for JRS regions throughout the world.

    The U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) funds a number of organizations that provide technical assistance to voluntary agencies and local refugee resettlement organizations. RefugeeWorks, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, is ORR's training and technical assistance arm for employment and self-sufficiency activities, for example. This nonprofit organization assists refugee service providers in their efforts to help refugees achieve self-sufficiency. RefugeeWorks publishes white papers, newsletters and reports on refugee employment topics.

    Afghanistan

    From the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
    Soviet war in Afghanistan
    The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

     in 1979 until the late 2001 US-led invasion, about six million Afghan refugees have fled to neighboring Pakistan (mainly NWFP
    North-West Frontier Province
    Khyber Pakhtunkhwa , formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province and various other names, is one of the four provinces of Pakistan, located in the north-west of the country...

    ) and Iran, making Afghanistan
    Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

     the largest refugee-producing country. Since early 2002, more than 5 million Afghan refugees have repatriated
    Repatriation
    Repatriation is the process of returning a person back to one's place of origin or citizenship. This includes the process of returning refugees or soldiers to their place of origin following a war...

     through the UNHCR from both Pakistan and Iran back to their native country, Afghanistan. Approximately 3.5 million from Pakistan while the remaining 1.5 million from Iran. Since 2007 the Iranian government has forcibly deported mostly unregistered (and some registered) Afghan refugees back to Afghanistan, with 362,000 being deported in 2008.

    As of March 2009, some 1.7 million registered Afghan refugees still remain in Pakistan. This include the many who were born in Pakistan during the last 30 years but still counted as citizens of Afghanistan
    Demography of Afghanistan
    The population of Afghanistan is around 29,835,392 as of the year 2011, which is unclear if the refugees living outside the country are included or not. The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between...

    . They are allowed to work and study until the end of 2012. 935,600 registered Afghans are living in Iran
    Afghans in Iran
    Afghans in Iran are mostly refugees who fled Afghanistan during the 1980s Soviet war as well as diplomats, traders, businesspersons, workers, exchange students, tourists and other visitors. As of March 2009, nearly 1 million Afghan nationals were reported to be living in Iran...

    , which also include the ones born inside Iran.

    Dissolution of the British Raj, The Partition of 1947 and Independence

    The partition of the British Raj
    British Raj
    British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

     provinces of Panjab
    Punjab region
    The Punjab , also spelled Panjab |water]]s"), is a geographical region straddling the border between Pakistan and India which includes Punjab province in Pakistan and the states of the Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Chandigarh and some northern parts of the National Capital Territory of Delhi...

     and Bangal
    Bangal
    Bangal is a term used to refer to the people of East Bengal , now in Bangladesh . The term is used to describe Bengalis from the east, who are marked by a distinct accent....

     and the subsequent independence of Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     and one day later of India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     in 1947 resulted in the largest human movement in history. In this population exhange approximately 7 million Hindus and Sikhs from Bangladesh
    Bangladesh
    Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

     and Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     moved to India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     while approximately 7 million Muslims from India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     moved to Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    . Approximately one million Muslim
    Muslim
    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

    s, Hindu
    Hindu
    Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

    s and Sikh
    Sikh
    A Sikh is a follower of Sikhism. It primarily originated in the 15th century in the Punjab region of South Asia. The term "Sikh" has its origin in Sanskrit term शिष्य , meaning "disciple, student" or शिक्ष , meaning "instruction"...

    s died during this event. [citation required for the figures]

    Bangladeshis in India in 1971

    As a result of the Bangladesh Liberation War
    Bangladesh Liberation War
    The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

    , on 27 March 1971, Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi
    Indira Gandhi
    Indira Priyadarshini Gandhara was an Indian politician who served as the third Prime Minister of India for three consecutive terms and a fourth term . She was assassinated by Sikh extremists...

    , expressed full support of her Government to the Bangladeshi struggle for freedom. The Bangladesh-India border was opened to allow panic-stricken Bangladeshis' safe shelter in India. The governments of West Bengal
    West Bengal
    West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

    , Bihar
    Bihar
    Bihar is a state in eastern India. It is the 12th largest state in terms of geographical size at and 3rd largest by population. Almost 58% of Biharis are below the age of 25, which is the highest proportion in India....

    , Assam
    Assam
    Assam , also, rarely, Assam Valley and formerly the Assam Province , is a northeastern state of India and is one of the most culturally and geographically distinct regions of the country...

    , Meghalaya
    Meghalaya
    Meghalaya is a state in north-eastern India. The word "Meghalaya" literally means the Abode of Clouds in Sanskrit and other Indic languages. Meghalaya is a hilly strip in the eastern part of the country about 300 km long and 100 km wide, with a total area of about 8,700 sq mi . The...

     and Tripura
    Tripura
    Tripura is a state in North-East India, with an area of . It is the third smallest state of India, according to area. Tripura is surrounded by Bangladesh on the north, south, and west. The Indian states of Assam and Mizoram lie to the east. The capital is Agartala and the main languages spoken are...

     established refugee camps along the border. Exiled Bangladeshi army officers and the Indian military immediately started using these camps for recruitment and training members of Mukti Bahini
    Mukti Bahini
    Mukti Bahini , also termed as the "Freedom Fighters" or FFs, collectively refers to the armed organizations who fought against the Pakistan Army during the Bangladesh Liberation War. It was dynamically formed by Bengali regulars and civilians after the proclamation of Bangladesh's independence on...

    . During the Bangladesh War of Independence around 10 million Bangladeshis fled the country to escape the killings and atrocities
    1971 Bangladesh atrocities
    Beginning with the start of Operation Searchlight on 25 March 1971 and continuing throughout the Bangladesh Liberation War, there were widespread violations of human rights in East Pakistan perpetrated by the Pakistan Army, with support from local political and religious militias, especially...

     committed by the Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     Army.
    Bangladeshi refugees known as '"Chakmas"' in India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    .

    Pakistani Biharis in Bangladesh after 1971

    During the period of united Pakistan (1947–1971), the Urdu
    Urdu
    Urdu is a register of the Hindustani language that is identified with Muslims in South Asia. It belongs to the Indo-European family. Urdu is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in some regions of India, where it is one of the 22 scheduled languages and an...

    -speaking Biharis were not assimilated into the society of East Pakistan
    East Pakistan
    East Pakistan was a provincial state of Pakistan established in 14 August 1947. The provincial state existed until its declaration of independence on 26 March 1971 as the independent nation of Bangladesh. Pakistan recognized the new nation on 16 December 1971. East Pakistan was created from Bengal...

     and remained a distinct cultural-linguistic group. Due to being a different linguistic group they were assaulted by Bengalis and the Indian Army
    Indian Army
    The Indian Army is the land based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces. With about 1,100,000 soldiers in active service and about 1,150,000 reserve troops, the Indian Army is the world's largest standing volunteer army...

     in the 1971 war
    Bangladesh Liberation War
    The Bangladesh Liberation War was an armed conflict pitting East Pakistan and India against West Pakistan. The war resulted in the secession of East Pakistan, which became the independent nation of Bangladesh....

    . Many atrocities took place against Biharis and even after the war they are still living in the same conditions. At the end of the war many Biharis took shelter in refugee camps in different cities, the biggest being the Geneva Camp in Dhaka. It is estimated that about 250,000 Biharis are living in those camps today, with problems like continuous atrocities by the local Bengali population, rape on young girls, malnutrition and poor hygiene and living conditions.

    Rohingyas in Bangladesh and Pakistan from Burma

    Bangladesh
    Bangladesh
    Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

     hosts more than 250,000 Muslim
    Muslim
    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

     Rohingya refugees forced from western Burma (Myanmar) who fled in 1991-92 to escape persecution by the Burmese military junta. Many have lived there for close to twenty years. The Bangladeshi government divides the Rohingya into two categories - recognized refugees living in official camps and unrecognized refugees living in unofficial sites or among Bangladeshi communities. Around 30,000 Rohingyas are residing in two camps in Nayapara and Kutupalong area of Cox's Bazar
    Cox's Bazar
    Cox's Bazar is a town, a fishing port and district headquarters in Bangladesh. It is known for its wide sandy beach which is the world's longest natural sandy sea beach. It is an unbroken 125 km sandy sea beach with a gentle slope. It is located 150 km south of Chittagong. Cox’s Bazar...

     district in Bangladesh. These camp residents have access to basic services, those outside do not. With no changes inside Burma in sight, Bangladesh must come to terms with the long-term needs of all the Rohingya refugees in the country, and allow international organizations to expand services that benefit the Rohingya as well as local communities.

    The agency has been supporting Rohingya refugees staying in the camps. On the other hand, it is not receiving applications for refugee status from the newly arrived Rohingyas. This amounts to compromising of its mandate.
    The brutal campaign of ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Arakan State by the Burmese military in 1991-92 thousands of people have been detained in crowded refugee camps in Bangladesh and tens of thousands have been repatriated to Burma to face further repression. There are widespread allegations of religious persecution, use of forced labor and denial of citizenship of many Rohingya forced to return to Burma since 1996.
    Many have fled again to Bangladesh to seek work or shelter, or flee from Burmese military oppression, and some are forced across the border by Burmese security forces. In the past few months, abuses against Rohingya in Arakan State has continued, including strict registration laws that continue to deny Rohingya citizenship, restrictions on movement, land confiscation and forced evictions to make way for Buddhist Burmese settlements, widespread forced labor in infrastructure projects and closure of some mosques, including nine in North Buthidaung Township of Western Arakan State in the last half of 2006.

    There are also large number of Muslim
    Muslim
    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

     Rohingya refugees
    Burmese people in Pakistan
    The Burmese people in Pakistan are a Muslim community based in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. They are Rohingya Muslims from western Burma, who claim to have fled their homeland of Arakan State under the persecution of Muslim citizens by the Burmese junta...

     in Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    . Most of them have made perilous journey across Bangladesh
    Bangladesh
    Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

     and India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     and have settled in Karachi
    Karachi
    Karachi is the largest city, main seaport and the main financial centre of Pakistan, as well as the capital of the province of Sindh. The city has an estimated population of 13 to 15 million, while the total metropolitan area has a population of over 18 million...

    .

    Himalayas

    After the 1959 Tibetan exodus, there are more than 150,000 Tibetans
    Tibetan people
    The Tibetan people are an ethnic group that is native to Tibet, which is mostly in the People's Republic of China. They number 5.4 million and are the 10th largest ethnic group in the country. Significant Tibetan minorities also live in India, Nepal, and Bhutan...

     who live in India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    , many in settlements in Dharamsala
    Dharamsala
    Dharamshala or Dharamsala is a city in northern India. It was formerly known as Bhagsu; it is the winter seat of government of the state of Himachal Pradesh and the district headquarters of the Kangra district....

     and Mysore, and Nepal. These include people who have escaped over the Himalayas
    Himalayas
    The Himalaya Range or Himalaya Mountains Sanskrit: Devanagari: हिमालय, literally "abode of snow"), usually called the Himalayas or Himalaya for short, is a mountain range in Asia, separating the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau...

     from Tibet
    Tibet
    Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

    , as well as their children and grandchildren. In India the overwhelming majority of Tibetans born in India are still stateless and carry a document called an Identity Card issued by the Indian government in lieu of a passport. This document states the nationality of the holder as Tibetan. It is a document that is frequently rejected as a valid travel document by many customs and immigrations departments. The Tibetan refugees also own a Green Book
    Green Book (Tibetan document)
    Green Book is a document issued since 1971 by the Central Tibetan Administration to Tibetans living outside Tibet, and described by the issuing organization as "the most official document issued by the Tibetan Government in Exile." They are owned by more than 90 per cent of the Tibetan refugees...

     issued by the Tibetan Government in Exile for rights and duties towards this administration.

    In 1991–92, Bhutan expelled roughly 100,000 ethnic Nepalis
    Nepali people
    Nepali people can refer to:*People of Nepal*Ethnic Nepalis of Indian citizenry residing in Gorkhaland area of West Bengal, Sikkim, Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram and other parts of India.* Indian Gorkhas*Lhotshampas of Bhutan.*Nepali diaspora the world over....

     known as Lhotshampa
    Lhotshampa
    Lhotshampa, or Lhotsampa, means "southerners" in Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan. The term refers to the heterogeneous ethnic Nepalese population of Bhutan.-History:...

    s from the southern part of the country. Most of them have been living in seven refugee camps run by UNHCR in eastern Nepal ever since; some of them resettled in India. In March 2008, this population began a multiyear resettlement to third countries including the United States, New Zealand, Denmark, Canada, Norway and Australia. At present, the United States is working towards resettling more than 60,000 of these refugees in the US as a third country settlement programme.

    Meanwhile, as many as 200,000 Nepalese were displaced during the Maoist insurgency and Nepalese Civil War which ended in 2006.

    More than 3 million Pakistani civilians have been displaced by War in North-West Pakistan
    War in North-West Pakistan
    The War in North-West Pakistan is an armed conflict between the Pakistan Armed Forces and armed religious groups such as the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan , Lashkar-e-Islam, TSNM, Arab and Central Asian militants including Al-Qaeda, regional armed movements and elements of organized crime.The armed...

     (2004–present) between the Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    i government and Taliban militants.

    Sri Lanka

    The civil war
    Sri Lankan civil war
    The Sri Lankan Civil War was a conflict fought on the island of Sri Lanka. Beginning on July 23, 1983, there was an on-and-off insurgency against the government by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam , a separatist militant organization which fought to create an independent Tamil state named Tamil...

     in Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka
    Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

    , from 1983 to 2009 had generated thousands of internally displaced people as well as refugees. Many Sri Lankans have fled to neighbourly India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

     and western countries such as Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    , France
    France
    The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

    , Denmark
    Denmark
    Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

    , the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

    , and Germany
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

    . Refugees travel through Malaysia and/or Thailand and Indonesia before moving into Australia or Canada by illegal means such as boat or plane.

    Kashmir

    According to the National Human Rights Commission, about 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits have been forced to leave Kashmir. But Kashmiri groups peg the number of migrants closer to 500,000.

    Tajikistan civil war

    Since 1991, much of the country's non-Muslim population, including Russians
    Russians
    The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

     and Bukharian Jews, have fled Tajikistan
    Tajikistan
    Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

     due to severe poverty
    Poverty
    Poverty is the lack of a certain amount of material possessions or money. Absolute poverty or destitution is inability to afford basic human needs, which commonly includes clean and fresh water, nutrition, health care, education, clothing and shelter. About 1.7 billion people are estimated to live...

    , instability and Tajikistan Civil War
    Tajikistan Civil War
    The Civil War in Tajikistan began in May 1992 when ethnic groups from the Garm and Gorno-Badakhshan regions, which were underrepresented in the ruling elite, rose up against the national government of President Rahmon Nabiyev, in which people from the Leninabad and Kulyab regions dominated...

     (1992–1997). In 1992, most of the country’s Jewish population was evacuated to Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    . By the end of the civil war Tajikistan was in a state of complete devastation. Around 1.2 million people were refugees inside and outside of the country.

    Uzbekistan

    In 1989, after bloody pogroms against the Meskhetian Turks in Central Asia's Ferghana Valley, nearly 90,000 Meskhetian Turks left Uzbekistan
    Uzbekistan
    Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

    .

    The 2010 South Kyrgyzstan riots
    2010 South Kyrgyzstan riots
    The 2010 South Kyrgyzstan riots were clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan, primarily in the cities of Osh and Jalal-Abad, in the aftermath of the ouster of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev on April 7. It is part of the larger 2010 Kyrgyzstan crisis. Violence that...

     left some 300,000 people internally displaced. Another 100,000 refugees crossed the border into Uzbekistan.

    Southeast Asia (Vietnam War)

    Following the communist takeovers in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in 1975, about three million people attempted to escape in the subsequent decades. With massive influx of refugees daily, the resources of the receiving countries were severely strained. The plight of the boat people
    Boat people
    Boat people is a term that usually refers to refugees, illegal immigrants or asylum seekers who emigrate in numbers in boats that are sometimes old and crudely made...

     became an international humanitarian crisis. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
    United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
    The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees , also known as The UN Refugee Agency is a United Nations agency mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself and assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to...

     (UNHCR) set up refugee camps in neighboring countries to process the boat people. The budget of the UNHCR increased from $80 million in 1975 to $500 million in 1980. Partly for its work in Indochina, the UNHCR was awarded the 1981 Nobel Peace Prize.
    • Large numbers of Vietnamese refugees came into existence after 1975 when South Vietnam
      South Vietnam
      South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

       fell to the communist forces
      Vietnam People's Army
      The Vietnam People's Army is the armed forces of Vietnam. The VPA includes: the Vietnamese People's Ground Forces , the Vietnam People's Navy , the Vietnam People's Air Force, and the Vietnam Marine Police.During the French Indochina War , the VPA was often referred to as the Việt...

      . Many tried to escape, some by boat, thus giving rise to the phrase "boat people
      Boat people
      Boat people is a term that usually refers to refugees, illegal immigrants or asylum seekers who emigrate in numbers in boats that are sometimes old and crudely made...

      ". The Vietnamese refugees emigrated to Hong Kong
      Hong Kong
      Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

      , France, the United States, Canada
      Canada
      Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

      , Australia
      Australia
      Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

      , and other countries, creating sizeable expatriate communities, notably in the United States. Since 1975, an estimated 1.4 million refugees from Vietnam and other Southeast Asian countries have been resettled to the United States. Most Asia
      Asia
      Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

      n countries were unwilling to accept refugees.
    • Survivors of the Khmer Rouge
      Khmer Rouge
      The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

       regime in Cambodia
      Cambodia
      Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

       fled across the border into Thailand
      Thailand
      Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

       after the Vietnamese invasion of 1978–79. Approximately 300,000 of these people were eventually resettled in the United States, France, Canada
      Canada
      Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

      , and Australia
      Australia
      Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

       between 1979 and 1992, when the camps were closed and the remaining people repatriated.
    • Nearly 400,000 Laotians fled to Thailand after the Vietnam War
      Vietnam War
      The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

       and Communist Take over in 1975.Some left because of persecution by the government for religious or ethnic purposes.Most left between 1976–1985 and lived in refugee camps along the border between Thailand
      Thailand
      Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

       and Laos
      Laos
      Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

      .They mostly settled in the United States, Canada
      Canada
      Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

      , France , and Australia
      Australia
      Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

      .In the United States they mostly settled in Washington State, California
      California
      California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

      , Washington DC, Texas
      Texas
      Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

      , Virginia
      Virginia
      The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

      , and Minnesota
      Minnesota
      Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

      .
    • The Mien or Yao
      Yao people
      The Yao nationality is a government classification for various minorities in China. They form one of the 55 ethnic minority groups officially recognized by the People's Republic of China, where they reside in the mountainous terrain of the southwest and south...

       recently lived in northern Vietnam
      Vietnam
      Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

      , northern Laos
      Laos
      Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

       and northern Thailand
      Thailand
      Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

      . In 1975, the Pathet Lao
      Pathet Lao
      The Pathet Lao was a communist political movement and organization in Laos, formed in the mid-20th century. The group was ultimately successful in assuming political power after the Laotian Civil War. The Pathet Lao were always closely associated with Vietnamese communists...

       forces began seeking reprisal for the involvement of many Mien as soldiers in the CIA-sponsored Secret War in Laos. As a token of appreciation to the Mien and Hmong people
      Hmong people
      The Hmong , are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Hmong are also one of the sub-groups of the Miao ethnicity in southern China...

       who served in the CIA secret army, the United States accepted many of the refugees as naturalized
      Naturalization
      Naturalization is the acquisition of citizenship and nationality by somebody who was not a citizen of that country at the time of birth....

       citizen
      Citizenship
      Citizenship is the state of being a citizen of a particular social, political, national, or human resource community. Citizenship status, under social contract theory, carries with it both rights and responsibilities...

      s (Mien American
      Mien American
      Iu Mien Americans are primarily Indochinese refugees that may have been born in or have become naturalized citizens of the United States of America. This group arrived in between the late 1970s to the early 1990s as the last wave of refugees post-Vietnam War....

      ). Many more Hmong
      Hmong people
      The Hmong , are an Asian ethnic group from the mountainous regions of China, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. Hmong are also one of the sub-groups of the Miao ethnicity in southern China...

       continue to seek asylum in neighboring Thailand.
    • Due to the persecution of the ethnic Karen
      Karen people
      The Karen or Kayin people , are a Sino-Tibetan language speaking ethnic group which resides primarily in southern and southeastern Burma . The Karen make up approximately 7 percent of the total Burmese population of approximately 50 million people...

      , Karenni
      Karenni
      Red Karen also known as Karenni, is a subgroup of the Karen people, a Sino-Tibetan people living mostly in Kayah State of Burma....

       and other minority populations in Burma (Myanmar
      Myanmar
      Burma , officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar , is a country in Southeast Asia. Burma is bordered by China on the northeast, Laos on the east, Thailand on the southeast, Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, the Bay of Bengal to the southwest, and the Andaman Sea on the south....

      ) significant numbers of refugees live along the Thai border in camps of up to 100,000 people.
    • Muslim ethnic groups from Burma, the Rohingya and other Arakanese have been living in camps in Bangladesh
      Bangladesh
      Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

       since the 1990s.

    Jewish refugees


    Between the first and second world wars, Jewish immigration to the British Mandate for Palestine was encouraged by the nascent Zionist movement
    Zionism
    Zionism is a Jewish political movement that, in its broadest sense, has supported the self-determination of the Jewish people in a sovereign Jewish national homeland. Since the establishment of the State of Israel, the Zionist movement continues primarily to advocate on behalf of the Jewish state...

    , but was restricted by the British Mandate government, under the pressure of Arab nationalists. In Europe, Nazi
    Nazism
    Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

     persecution culminated in the Holocaust and the mass murder of millions of European Jews.

    The Evian Conference
    Evian Conference
    The Évian Conference was convened at the initiative of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt in July 1938 to discuss the issue of increasing numbers of Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi persecution. For eight days, from July 6 to July 13, representatives from 31 countries met at Évian-les-Bains, France...

    , Bermuda Conference
    Bermuda Conference
    The Bermuda Conference was an international conference between the United Kingdom and the United States held on April 19, 1943 at Hamilton, Bermuda, Bermuda Triangle. Discussions included the question of Jewish refugees who had been liberated by Allied forces and those who still remained...

    , and others failed to resolve the problem of finding a home for large numbers of Jewish refugees
    Jewish refugees
    In the course of history, Jewish populations have been expelled or ostracised by various local authorities and have sought asylum from antisemitism numerous times...

     from Nazi-occupied Europe. Following its formation in 1948, according to 1947 UN Partition Plan
    1947 UN Partition Plan
    The United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was created by the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in 1947 to replace the British Mandate for Palestine with "Independent Arab and Jewish States" and a "Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem" administered by the United...

    , Israel adopted the Law of Return
    Law of Return
    The Law of Return is Israeli legislation, passed on 5 July 1950, that gives Jews the right of return and settlement in Israel and gain citizenship...

    , granting Israeli citizenship to any Jewish immigrant.

    European Union

    According to the European Council on Refugees and Exiles
    European Council on Refugees and Exiles
    The European Council on Refugees and Exiles is a pan-European network of refugee-assisting non-governmental organisations that promotes a humane and generous European asylum policy...

    , a network of European refugee-assisting non-governmental organization
    Non-governmental organization
    A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

    s (NGOs), huge differences exist between national asylum systems in Europe, making the asylum system a 'lottery' for refugees. For example, Iraqis who flee their home country and end up in Germany have an 85% chance of being recognised as a refugee and those who apply for asylum in Slovenia do not get a protection status at all.

    France

    In 2010, President Nicholas Sarkozy began the systematic expulsion of Roma
    Roma
    - Places :Italy* Rome, the capital of Italy, is called Roma in Italian and some other languages* Roma Tre University, a university located in Rome, Italy, and founded in 1992...

     from France forcing thousands from France to Bulgaria
    Bulgaria
    Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

    , Romania
    Romania
    Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe, on the Lower Danube, within and outside the Carpathian arch, bordering on the Black Sea...

     or elsewhere.

    Hungary

    In 1956–57 following the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 nearly 200,000 persons, about two percent of the population of Hungary
    Hungary
    Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

    , fled as refugees to Austria
    Austria
    Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

     and West Germany
    West Germany
    West Germany is the common English, but not official, name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation in May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990....

    .

    Czechoslovakia

    The Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
    Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia
    On the night of 20–21 August 1968, the Soviet Union and her main satellite states in the Warsaw Pact – Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic , Hungary and Poland – invaded the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic in order to halt Alexander Dubček's Prague Spring political liberalization...

     in 1968 was followed by a wave of emigration, unseen before and stopped shortly after (estimate: 70,000 immediately, 300,000 in total), typic

    Balkans

    Following the Greek Civil War
    Greek Civil War
    The Greek Civil War was fought from 1946 to 1949 between the Greek governmental army, backed by the United Kingdom and United States, and the Democratic Army of Greece , the military branch of the Greek Communist Party , backed by Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Albania...

     (1946–1949) hundreds of thousands of Greeks and Ethnic Macedonians were expelled or fled the country. The number of refugees ranged from 35,000 to over 213,000. Over 28,000 children were evacuated by the Partisans to the Eastern Bloc and the Socialist Republic of Macedonia
    Socialist Republic of Macedonia
    The Socialist Republic of Macedonia was a socialist state that was a constituent country of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia...

    . This left thousands of Greeks
    Greeks
    The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

     and Aegean Macedonians
    Aegean Macedonians
    Slavic speakers are a linguistic minority population in the northern Greek region of Macedonia who are mostly concentrated in certain parts of the peripheries of West and Central Macedonia, adjacent to the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. A smaller group exists in East Macedonia adjacent to...

     spread across the world.

    The forced assimilation
    Forced assimilation
    Forced assimilation is a process of forced cultural assimilation of religious or ethnic minority groups, into an established and generally larger community...

     campaign of the late 1980s directed against ethnic Turks
    Turkish people
    Turkish people, also known as the "Turks" , are an ethnic group primarily living in Turkey and in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire where Turkish minorities had been established in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Romania...

     resulted in the emigration of some 300,000 Bulgarian Turks
    Turks in Bulgaria
    The Turks in Bulgaria number 588,318 people and constitute 8.8% of those who declared their ethnic group and 8.0% of the total population according to the 2011 Bulgarian census. 605,802 persons or 9.1% of the population pointed Turkish language as their mother tongue. They are also the largest...

     to Turkey.

    Beginning in 1991, political upheavals in the Balkans
    Balkans
    The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe...

     such as the breakup of Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia
    Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

    , displaced about 2,700,000 people by mid-1992, of which over 700,000 of them sought asylum in Europe. In 1999, about one million Albanians
    Albanians
    Albanians are a nation and ethnic group native to Albania and neighbouring countries. They speak the Albanian language. More than half of all Albanians live in Albania and Kosovo...

     escaped from Serbian persecution.

    Today there are still thousands of refugees and internally displaced person
    Displaced person
    A displaced person is a person who has been forced to leave his or her native place, a phenomenon known as forced migration.- Origin of term :...

    s in the Balkan Region who cannot return to their homes. Most of them are Serbs
    Serbs
    The Serbs are a South Slavic ethnic group of the Balkans and southern Central Europe. Serbs are located mainly in Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and form a sizable minority in Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia and Slovenia. Likewise, Serbs are an officially recognized minority in...

     who cannot return to Kosovo
    Kosovo
    Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

    , and who still live in refugee camps in Serbia today. Over 200,000 Serbs and other non-Albanian minorities fled or were expelled from Kosovo after the Kosovo War
    Kosovo War
    The term Kosovo War or Kosovo conflict was two sequential, and at times parallel, armed conflicts in Kosovo province, then part of FR Yugoslav Republic of Serbia; from early 1998 to 1999, there was an armed conflict initiated by the ethnic Albanian "Kosovo Liberation Army" , who sought independence...

     in 1999.

    Refugees and IDPs in Serbia
    Serbia
    Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

     form between 7% and 7.5% of its population – about half a million refugees sought refuge in the country following the series of Yugoslav wars
    Yugoslav wars
    The Yugoslav Wars were a series of wars, fought throughout the former Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995. The wars were complex: characterized by bitter ethnic conflicts among the peoples of the former Yugoslavia, mostly between Serbs on the one side and Croats and Bosniaks on the other; but also...

     (from Croatia mainly, to an extent Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

     too and the IDPs from Kosovo
    Kosovo
    Kosovo is a region in southeastern Europe. Part of the Ottoman Empire for more than five centuries, later the Autonomous Province of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia...

    , which are the most numerous at over 200,000). Serbia has the largest refugee population in Europe.

    Chechnya

    From 1992 ongoing conflict
    Second Chechen War
    The Second Chechen War, in a later phase better known as the War in the North Caucasus, was launched by the Russian Federation starting 26 August 1999, in response to the Invasion of Dagestan by the Islamic International Peacekeeping Brigade ....

     has taken place in Chechenya, Caucasus
    Caucasus
    The Caucasus, also Caucas or Caucasia , is a geopolitical region at the border of Europe and Asia, and situated between the Black and the Caspian sea...

     due to independence proclaimed by this republic in 1991 which is not accepted by the Russian Federation or any other state in the world. As a consequence about 2 million people have been displaced and still cannot return to their homes. At the end of the Soviet era, ethnic Russians
    Russians
    The Russian people are an East Slavic ethnic group native to Russia, speaking the Russian language and primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries....

     comprised about 23% of the population (269,000 in 1989). Due to widespread lawlessness and ethnic cleansing under the government of Dzhokhar Dudayev most non-Chechens (and many Chechens
    Chechen people
    Chechens constitute the largest native ethnic group originating in the North Caucasus region. They refer to themselves as Noxçi . Also known as Sadiks , Gargareans, Malkhs...

     as well) fled the country during the 1990s or were killed.

    Georgia

    More than 250,000 people, mostly Georgians
    Georgians
    The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

     but some others too, were the victims of forcible displacement and ethnic-cleansing
    Ethnic cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia
    The Ethnic Cleansing of Georgians in Abkhazia, also known as the Massacres of Georgians in Abkhazia and Genocide of Georgians in Abkhazia — refers to ethnic cleansing, massacres and forced mass expulsion of thousands of ethnic Georgians living in Abkhazia during the Georgian-Abkhaz conflict...

     from Abkhazia
    Abkhazia
    Abkhazia is a disputed political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea and the south-western flank of the Caucasus.Abkhazia considers itself an independent state, called the Republic of Abkhazia or Apsny...

     during the War in Abkhazia
    War in Abkhazia (1992–1993)
    The War in Abkhazia from 1992 to 1993 was waged chiefly between Georgian government forces on one side and Abkhaz separatist forces supporting independence of Abkhazia from Georgia on the other side. Ethnic Georgians, who lived in Abkhazia fought largely on the side of Georgian government forces...

     between 1992 and 1993, and afterwards in 1993 and 1998.

    As a result of 1991–1992 South Ossetia War, about 100,000 ethnic Ossetians
    Ossetians
    The Ossetians are an Iranic ethnic group of the Caucasus Mountains, eponymous of the region known as Ossetia.They speak Ossetic, an Iranian language of the Eastern branch, with most also fluent in Russian as a second language....

     fled South Ossetia and Georgia proper, most across the border into North Ossetia. A further 23,000 ethnic Georgians
    Georgians
    The Georgians are an ethnic group that have originated in Georgia, where they constitute a majority of the population. Large Georgian communities are also present throughout Russia, European Union, United States, and South America....

     fled South Ossetia and settled in other parts of Georgia
    Georgia (country)
    Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

    .

    The United Nations estimated 100,000 Georgians have been uprooted as a result of the 2008 South Ossetia war
    2008 South Ossetia war
    The 2008 South Ossetia War or Russo-Georgian War was an armed conflict in August 2008 between Georgia on one side, and Russia and separatist governments of South Ossetia and Abkhazia on the other....

    ; some 30,000 residents of South Ossetia
    South Ossetia
    South Ossetia or Tskhinvali Region is a disputed region and partly recognized state in the South Caucasus, located in the territory of the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast within the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic....

     fled into the neighboring Russian province of North Ossetia.

    Nagorno Karabakh

    The Nagorno Karabakh conflict has resulted in the displacement of 528,000 Azerbaijanis
    Refugees and internally displaced persons in Azerbaijan
    Azerbaijani SSR was the first republic of Soviet Union that faced the problem of refugees. Those people were the Azerbaijani inhabitants of Armenia.-Refugees from Armenia:...

     (this figure does not include new born children of these IDP
    Internally displaced person
    An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the current legal definition of a refugee. At the end of 2006 it was estimated there were...

    s) from Armenian occupied territories including Nagorno Karabakh, and 220,000 Azeris and 18,000 Kurds fled from Armenia
    Armenia
    Armenia , officially the Republic of Armenia , is a landlocked mountainous country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia...

     to Azerbaijan from 1988 to 1989. 280,000 persons—virtually all ethnic Armenians
    Armenians
    Armenian people or Armenians are a nation and ethnic group native to the Armenian Highland.The largest concentration is in Armenia having a nearly-homogeneous population with 97.9% or 3,145,354 being ethnic Armenian....

    —fled Azerbaijan
    Azerbaijan
    Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

     during the 1988–1993 war over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. By the time both Azerbaijan and Armenia had finally agreed to a ceasefire in 1994, an estimated 17,000 people had been killed, 50,000 had been injured, and over a million had been displaced.

    Jews and Assyrian Christians transfers, forced migrations between 1843 and the 21st century

    In his recent PhD thesis and in his recent book the Israeli scholar Mordechai Zaken discussed the history of the Assyrian Christians of Turkey and Iraq (in the Kurdish vicinity) during the last 180 years, from 1843 onwards. In his studies Zaken outlines three major eruptions that took place between 1843 and 1933 during which the Assyrian Christians lost their land and hegemony in their habitat in the Hakkārī (or Julamerk) region in southeastern Turkey and became refugees in other lands, notably Iran and Iraq, and ultimately in exiled communities in European and western countries (the USA, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, Sweden, France, to mention some of these countries). Mordechai Zaken wrote this important study from an analytical and comparative point of view, comparing the Assyrian Christians experience with the experience of the Kurdish Jews who had been dwelling in Kurdistan for two thousands years or so, but were forced to migrate the land to Israel in the early 1950s. The Jews of Kurdistan were forced to leave and migrate as a result of the Arab-Israeli war, as a result of the increasing hostility and acts of violence against Jews in Iraq and Kurdish towns and villages, and as a result of a new situation that had been built up during the 1940s in Iraq and Kurdistan in which the ability of Jews to live in relative comfort and relative tolerance (that was erupted from time to time prior to that period) with their Arab and Muslim neighbors, as they did for many years, practically came to an end. At the end, the Jews of Kurdistan had to leave their Kurdish habitat en masse and migrate into Israel. The Assyrian Christians on the other hand, came to similar conclusion but migrated in stages following each and every eruption of a political crisis with the regime in which boundaries they lived or following each conflict with their Muslim, Turkish, Arabs or Kurdish neighbors, or following the departure or expulsion of their patriarch Mar Shimon in 1933, first to Cyprus and then to the United States. Consequently, indeed there is still a small and fragile community of Assyrians in Iraq, however, millions of Assyrian Christians live today in exiled and prosperous communities in the west.
    Palestinian Arabs

    Following the 1948 proclamation of the State of Israel, the first Arab-Israeli War
    1948 Arab-Israeli War
    The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

     began. By then, many Palestinian Arabs
    Palestinian people
    The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

     had already left territories, controlled by Palestinian Jews, some through their own choice and some fleeing the coming warfare and in some cases expulsions, causing them to become refugees. The 1948 Palestinian exodus
    1948 Palestinian exodus
    The 1948 Palestinian exodus , also known as the Nakba , occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs left, fled or were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the Civil War that preceded it. The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute...

     continued through the 1948 Arab-Israeli War
    1948 Arab-Israeli War
    The 1948 Arab–Israeli War, known to Israelis as the War of Independence or War of Liberation The war commenced after the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine and the creation of an independent Israel at midnight on 14 May 1948 when, following a period of civil war, Arab armies invaded...

     and after the armistice that ended it. The final estimate of 1948 refugee numbers
    Estimates of the Palestinian Refugee flight of 1948
    This article lists the various interim and final United Nations estimates for the number of Palestinian people who fled or were expelled from the area that became part of the State of Israel after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war...

     was 711,000, according to the United Nations
    United Nations
    The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

     Conciliation Commission. After the war, the Palestinian displaced persons of the Gaza strip came under the governance of Egypt and the All-Palestine government
    All-Palestine Government
    The All-Palestine Government was established by the Arab League on 22 September 1948, during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. Shortly thereafter, an Arab-Palestinian Congress named King Abdullah I of Transjordan, "King of Arab Palestine"...

    , while in the West Bank and Jordan most of them were granted citizenship of the Hashemite Kingdom. Palestinian Arab population, which stayed within the Israeli controlled territories, or was displaced within its borders was granted Israeli citizenship.

    Palestinian refugees from 1948 and their descendants do not come under the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
    Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
    The United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees is an international convention that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. The Convention also sets out which people do not...

    , but under the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
    United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East
    United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is a relief and human development agency, providing education, health care, social services and emergency aid to 5 million Palestine refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, as well as in the West Bank and the Gaza...

    , which created its own criteria for refugee classification. The great majority of Palestinian refugees have kept the refugee status for generations, under a special decree of the UN. Many of them were not permitted to come back to their homes or resettle within the former Mandate Palestine territory, altogether in Israeli controlled territories, the Egyptian controlled Gaza strip and the Jordanian controlled West Bank. Resettlement was technically almost banned by Arab governments in other Arab States as well (Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait), where many Palestinian refugees had arrived after the war, until "the full solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is achieved". As such they, like the holders of Nansen Passports, Certificates of Eligibility, and UNHCR refugees are legally defined to include descendants of refugees, as well as others who might otherwise be considered internally displaced person
    Internally displaced person
    An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the current legal definition of a refugee. At the end of 2006 it was estimated there were...

    s.

    As of December 2005, the World Refugee Survey of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
    U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants
    The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants is an international advocacy and domestic refugee resettlement organization, headquartered in Washington, DC...

     estimates the total number of Palestinian refugees and their descendants to be 2,966,100. Palestinian refugees number almost half of Jordan's population, however they have assimilated into Jordanian society, having a full citizenship. In Syria, though not officially becoming citizens, most of the Palestinian refugees were granted resident rights and issued Syrian passports. Following the Oslo Agreements, attempts were made to integrate the displaced Palestinians and their descendants into the Palestinian community. In addition, Israel granted permissions for family reunions and return of about 10,000 Fatach members to the West Bank. The refugee situation and the presence of numerous refugee camps continues to be a point of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. The conflict is wide-ranging, and the term is also used in reference to the earlier phases of the same conflict, between Jewish and Zionist yishuv and the Arab population living in Palestine under Ottoman or...

    .
    Jews of Arab and Muslim countries

    Jews have lived in what are now Arab states at least since the Babylonian captivity
    Babylonian captivity
    The Babylonian captivity was the period in Jewish history during which the Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah were captives in Babylon—conventionally 587–538 BCE....

     (597 BCE). First the rise of antisemitism and later the refusal of the Arab world to accept the existence of a Jewish state led to increased discrimination and violence against the Jews. In 1948, the Arab League
    Arab League
    The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

     declared the Jews as enemy citizens. Jewish bank accounts and property was confiscated, Jews were arrested and fired from their jobs, and synagogues were attacked Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the number of Jews in Arab countries fell steeply: some 10,000 former Palestinain Jews were forced out of their homes in Jerusalem, Hebron and other cities of the West Bank by Jordan throughout the war; following the war the numbers fell in Yemen from 55,000 to 4,000; in Iraq from 135,000 to 6,000; in Aden from 8,000 to 800; in Egypt from 80,000 to 50,000; in Libya from 38,000 to 4,000; and in Syria from 30,000 to 5,000.

    According to official Arab statistics, 856,000 Jews fled and abandoned their homes in Arab countries from 1948 until the early 1970s. Approximately 600,000-700,000 of Jewish refugees flooded into Israel, and were largely housed in temporary transition camps, called ma'abarot
    Ma'abarot
    The Ma'abarot were refugee absorption camps in Israel in the 1950s. The Ma'abarot were meant to provide accommodation for the large influx of Jewish refugees and new Olim arriving to the newly independent State of Israel, replacing the less habitable immigrant camps or tent cities...

    . The plight of the Jews in Arab countries worsened following the 1967 Six-Day War
    Six-Day War
    The Six-Day War , also known as the June War, 1967 Arab-Israeli War, or Third Arab-Israeli War, was fought between June 5 and 10, 1967, by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt , Jordan, and Syria...

    , prompting the exodus of most of the remaining Jewish population. Their descendants, and those of Iranian and Turkish Jews, now number 3.06 million of Israel's 5.4 to 5.8 million Jewish citizens. Very few Jews live in Arab countries today.

    In 2007, similar resolutions (H.Res.185 and S.Res.85) were proposed to the US Senate
    United States Senate
    The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

     and Congress
    United States Congress
    The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

    , to:
    Make clear that the United States Government supports the position that, as an integral part of any comprehensive peace, the issue of refugees and the mass violations of human rights of minorities in Arab and Muslim countries throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf must be resolved in a manner that includes (A) consideration of the legitimate rights of all refugees displaced from Arab and Muslim countries throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and the Persian Gulf; and (B) recognition of the losses incurred by Jews, Christians, and other minority groups as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

    Cyprus crisis of 1974

    It is estimated that 40% of the Greek
    Greek Cypriots
    Greek Cypriots are the ethnic Greek population of Cyprus, forming the island's largest ethnolinguistic community at 77% of the population. Greek Cypriots are mostly members of the Church of Cyprus, an autocephalous Greek Orthodox Church within the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity...

     population of Cyprus
    Cyprus
    Cyprus , officially the Republic of Cyprus , is a Eurasian island country, member of the European Union, in the Eastern Mediterranean, east of Greece, south of Turkey, west of Syria and north of Egypt. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.The earliest known human activity on the...

    , as well as over half of the Turkish Cypriot
    Turkish Cypriots
    Turkish Cypriots are the ethnic Turks and members of the Turkish-speaking ethnolinguistic community of the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. The term is used to refer explicitly to the indigenous Turkish Cypriots, whose Ottoman Turkish forbears colonised the island in 1571...

     population, were displaced during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus
    Turkish invasion of Cyprus
    The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, launched on 20 July 1974, was a Turkish military invasion in response to a Greek military junta backed coup in Cyprus...

     in 1974. The figures for internally displaced Cypriots varies, the United Peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) estimates 165,000 Greek Cypriots and 45,000 Turkish Cypriots. The UNHCR registers slightly higher figures of 200,000 and 65,000 respectively, being partly based on official Cypriot statistics which register children of displaced families as refugees. The separation of the two communities via the UN patrolled Green Line prohibited the return of all internally displaced people.

    Lebanon Civil War crisis

    It is estimated that some 900,000 people, representing one-fifth of the pre-war population, were displaced from their homes during the Lebanese Civil War
    Lebanese Civil War
    The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

     (1975–90).

    The 2006 Lebanon War displaced approximately one million Lebanese
    Lebanese people
    The Lebanese people are a nation and ethnic group of Levantine people originating in what is today the country of Lebanon, including those who had inhabited Mount Lebanon prior to the creation of the modern Lebanese state....

     and approximately 500,000 Israel
    Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    is, although most were able to return to their homes. Lebanese desire to emigrate has increased since the war. Over a fifth of Shias, a quarter of Sunnis, and nearly half of Maronites have expressed the desire to leave Lebanon. Nearly a third of such Maronites have already submitted visa applications to foreign embassies, and another 60,000 Christians have already fled, as of April 2007. Lebanese Christians are concerned that their influence is waning, fear the apparent rise of radical Islam, and worry of potential Sunni-Shia rivalry.

    Iranian asylum seekers

    In the Islamic republic of Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

    , Iranian Christians decry minority religions' lack of freedom in Islamic countries, while Bahá'ís
    Bahá'í Faith
    The Bahá'í Faith is a monotheistic religion founded by Bahá'u'lláh in 19th-century Persia, emphasizing the spiritual unity of all humankind. There are an estimated five to six million Bahá'ís around the world in more than 200 countries and territories....

     are also fleeing religious persecution
    Persecution
    Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. The most common forms are religious persecution, ethnic persecution, and political persecution, though there is naturally some overlap between these terms. The inflicting of suffering, harassment, isolation,...

    .

    Kurdish population displacement due to Turkey-PKK conflict

    Between 1984 and 1999, the PKK and the Turkish
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     military engaged in open war, and much of the countryside in the southeast was depopulated, with Kurdish
    Kurdish people
    The Kurdish people, or Kurds , are an Iranian people native to the Middle East, mostly inhabiting a region known as Kurdistan, which includes adjacent parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey...

     civilians moving to local defensible centers such as Diyarbakır
    Diyarbakır
    Diyarbakır is one of the largest cities in southeastern Turkey...

    , Van
    Van, Turkey
    Van is a city in southeastern Turkey and the seat of the Kurdish-majority Van Province, and is located on the eastern shore of Lake Van. The city's official population in 2010 was 367,419, but many estimates put this as much higher with a 1996 estimate stating 500,000 and former Mayor Burhan...

    , and Şırnak
    Sirnak
    Şırnak is a town in southeastern Turkey. It is the capital of Şırnak Province, a new province that split from the Hakkari province...

    , as well as to the cities of western Turkey and even to western Europe. The causes of the depopulation included PKK atrocities against Kurdish clans they could not control, the poverty of the southeast, and the Turkish state's military operations. Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

     has documented many instances where the Turkish military forcibly evacuated villages, destroying houses and equipment to prevent the return of the inhabitants. An estimated 3,000 Kurdish villages in Turkey were virtually wiped from the map, representing the displacement of more than 378,000 people.

    Iran-Iraq war

    The Iran–Iraq War from 1980 to 1988, the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, the first Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

     and subsequent conflicts all generated hundreds of thousands if not millions of refugees. Iran also provided asylum for 1,400,000 Iraqi refugees who had been uprooted as a result of the Persian Gulf War
    Gulf War
    The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

     (1990–91). At least one million Iraqi Kurds were displaced during the Al-Anfal Campaign
    Al-Anfal Campaign
    The al-Anfal Campaign , also known as Operation Anfal or simply Anfal, was a genocidal campaign against the Kurdish people in Northern Iraq, led by the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein and headed by Ali Hassan al-Majid in the final stages of Iran-Iraq War...

     (1986–1989).

    Iraq War (2003-today)

    The current Iraq war has generated millions of refugees and internally displaced person
    Internally displaced person
    An internally displaced person is someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country's borders. They are often referred to as refugees, although they do not fall within the current legal definition of a refugee. At the end of 2006 it was estimated there were...

    s. As of 2007 more Iraqis have lost their homes and become refugees than the population of any other country. Over 4,700,000 people, more than 16% of the Iraqi population, have become uprooted. Of these, about 2 million have fled Iraq and flooded other countries, and 2.7 million are estimated to be refugees inside Iraq, with nearly 100,000 Iraqis fleeing to Syria and Jordan each month. Only 1% of the total Iraqi displaced population was estimated to be in the Western countries
    First World
    The concept of the First World first originated during the Cold War, where it was used to describe countries that were aligned with the United States. These countries were democratic and capitalistic. After the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, the term "First World" took on a...

    .
    Roughly 40% of Iraq's middle class
    Middle class
    The middle class is any class of people in the middle of a societal hierarchy. In Weberian socio-economic terms, the middle class is the broad group of people in contemporary society who fall socio-economically between the working class and upper class....

     is believed to have fled, the U.N. said. Most are fleeing systematic persecution and have no desire to return. All kinds of people, from university professors to bakers, have been targeted by militias, insurgents
    Insurgency
    An insurgency is an armed rebellion against a constituted authority when those taking part in the rebellion are not recognized as belligerents...

     and criminals. An estimated 331 school teachers were slain in the first four months of 2006, according to Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

    , and at least 2,000 Iraqi doctors have been killed and 250 kidnapped since the 2003 U.S. invasion. Iraqi refugees in Syria
    Syria
    Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

     and Jordan
    Jordan
    Jordan , officially the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan , Al-Mamlaka al-Urduniyya al-Hashemiyya) is a kingdom on the East Bank of the River Jordan. The country borders Saudi Arabia to the east and south-east, Iraq to the north-east, Syria to the north and the West Bank and Israel to the west, sharing...

     live in impoverished communities with little international attention
    to their plight and little legal protection. In Syria alone an estimated 50,000 Iraqi girls and women, many of them widows, are forced into prostitution
    Prostitution
    Prostitution is the act or practice of providing sexual services to another person in return for payment. The person who receives payment for sexual services is called a prostitute and the person who receives such services is known by a multitude of terms, including a "john". Prostitution is one of...

     just to survive.

    According to Washington based Refugees International
    Refugees International
    Refugees International is a humanitarian organization supporting refugees and stateless people. It publishes annual reports, as well as approximately twenty-five field reports throughout the year on refugee issues, as well as comments on international aid issues around the world...

    , out of the 4.2 million refugees fewer than 800 have been allowed into the US since the 2003 invasion. Sweden
    Sweden
    Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

     had accepted 18,000 and Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

     had resettled almost 6,000. By 2006 Sweden had granted protection to more Iraqis than all the other EU Member States combined. However, and following repeated unanswered calls to its European partners for greater solidarity, July 2007 saw Sweden introduce a more restrictive policy towards Iraqi asylum seekers, which is expected to reduce the recognition rate in 2008.

    As of September 2007 Syria
    Syria
    Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

     had decided to implement a strict visa regime to limit the number of Iraqis entering the country at up to 5,000 per day, cutting the only accessible escape route for thousands of refugees fleeing the civil war in Iraq. A government decree that took effect on 10 September 2007 bars Iraqi passport holders from entering Syria except for businessmen and academics. Until then, the Syria was the only country that had resisted strict entry regulations for Iraqis.
    Assyrian refugees


    Although Assyrian
    Assyrian people
    The Assyrian people are a distinct ethnic group whose origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia...

     Christians represent less than 5% of the total Iraqi population, they make up 40% of the refugees fleeing Iraq, according to U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. In the 16th century, Christians were half the population of Iraq. In 1987, the last Iraqi census counted 1.4 million Christians. But as the current war has radicalized Islamic sensibilities, Christians have seen their total numbers slump to about 500,000 today, of whom 250,000 live in Baghdad
    Baghdad
    Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

    .
    Mandaeans and Yazidis

    Furthermore, the small Mandaean and Yazidi
    Yazidi
    The Yazidi are members of a Kurdish religion with ancient Indo-Iranian roots. They are primarily a Kurdish-speaking people living in the Mosul region of northern Iraq, with additional communities in Transcaucasia, Armenia, Turkey, and Syria in decline since the 1990s – their members emigrating to...

     communities are at the risk of elimination due to ethnic cleansing
    Ethnic cleansing
    Ethnic cleansing is a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic orreligious group from certain geographic areas....

     by Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

    ic militants. Entire neighborhoods in Baghdad
    Baghdad
    Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

     were ethnically cleansed by Shia and Sunni Militias. Satellite shows ethnic cleansing in Iraq was key factor in "surge" success.
    Refuge in Jordan

    Jordan has one of the world's largest immigrant populations with some sources putting the immigrant percentage to being 60%. Jordan's religious toleration, political stability, and economic prosperity has made Jordan attractive to those fleeing violence and persecution. Jordan also has a higher quality of life compared to other countries in the region with high literacy rates, excellent healthcare infrastructure, and a relatively liberal social and economic environment. Iraqi refugees number between 750,000 and 1 million in Jordan with most living in Amman. Jordan also has Armenian, Chechen, Circassian, and Mexican minorities.

    Religious minorities in the Middle East

    The US government position on refugees states that there is repression of religious minorities in the Middle East
    Middle East
    The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

     and in Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     such as Christians, Hindus, as well as Ahmadi, and Zikri
    Zikri
    The Zikris are a branch of Islam settled in Balochistan region of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. They are followers of Imam e Akhar Zama . The name Zikri comes from the Arabic word dhikr . The Zikri sect developed within Sunni Hanafi during the 18th century Mahdi movement as a reaction to British...

     denominations of Islam. In Sudan
    Sudan
    Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

     where Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

     is the state religion, Muslims dominate the Government and restrict activities of Christians, practitioners of traditional African indigenous
    Indigenous (ecology)
    In biogeography, a species is defined as native to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention. Every natural organism has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as native...

     religions and other non-Muslims. The question of Jewish, Christian
    Christian
    A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

     and other refugees from Arab
    Arab
    Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

     and Muslim
    Muslim
    A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

     countries was introduced in March 2007 in the US congress.

    Medical problems

    Apart from physical wounds or starvation, a large percentage of refugees develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
    Post-traumatic stress disorder
    Posttraumaticstress disorder is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one's own or someone else's physical, sexual, or psychological integrity,...

     (PTSD) or depression
    Clinical depression
    Major depressive disorder is a mental disorder characterized by an all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, and by loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities...

    . These long-term mental problems can severely impede the functionality of the person in everyday situations; it makes matters even worse for displaced persons who are confronted with a new environment and challenging situations. They are also at high risk for suicide
    Suicide
    Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

    .

    Among other symptoms, post-traumatic stress disorder involves anxiety
    Anxiety
    Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness,...

    , over-alertness, sleeplessness, chronic fatigue syndrome
    Chronic fatigue syndrome
    Chronic fatigue syndrome is the most common name used to designate a significantly debilitating medical disorder or group of disorders generally defined by persistent fatigue accompanied by other specific symptoms for a minimum of six months, not due to ongoing exertion, not substantially...

    , motor difficulties, failing short term memory, amnesia
    Amnesia
    Amnesia is a condition in which one's memory is lost. The causes of amnesia have traditionally been divided into categories. Memory appears to be stored in several parts of the limbic system of the brain, and any condition that interferes with the function of this system can cause amnesia...

    , nightmares and sleep-paralysis. Flashbacks are characteristic to the disorder: The patient experiences the traumatic event, or pieces of it, again and again. Depression is also characteristic for PTSD-patients and may also occur without accompanying PTSD.

    PTSD was diagnosed in 34.1% of Palestinian
    Palestinian people
    The Palestinian people, also referred to as Palestinians or Palestinian Arabs , are an Arabic-speaking people with origins in Palestine. Despite various wars and exoduses, roughly one third of the world's Palestinian population continues to reside in the area encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza...

     children, most of whom were refugees, male
    Male
    Male refers to the biological sex of an organism, or part of an organism, which produces small mobile gametes, called spermatozoa. Each spermatozoon can fuse with a larger female gamete or ovum, in the process of fertilization...

    s, and working. The participants were 1,000 children aged 12 to 16 years from governmental, private, and United Nations Relief Work Agency UNRWA schools in East Jerusalem and various governorates in the West Bank.

    Another study showed that 28.3% of Bosnia
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    Bosnia and Herzegovina , sometimes called Bosnia-Herzegovina or simply Bosnia, is a country in Southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula. Bordered by Croatia to the north, west and south, Serbia to the east, and Montenegro to the southeast, Bosnia and Herzegovina is almost landlocked, except for the...

    n refugee women had symptoms of PTSD three or four years after their arrival in Sweden. These women also had significantly higher risk
    Risk
    Risk is the potential that a chosen action or activity will lead to a loss . The notion implies that a choice having an influence on the outcome exists . Potential losses themselves may also be called "risks"...

    s of symptoms of depression, anxiety, and psychological distress than Swedish-born women. For depression the odds ratio was 9.50 among Bosnian women.

    A study by the Department of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at the Boston University
    Boston University
    Boston University is a private research university located in Boston, Massachusetts. With more than 4,000 faculty members and more than 31,000 students, Boston University is one of the largest private universities in the United States and one of Boston's largest employers...

     School of Medicine demonstrated that twenty percent of Sudanese refugee minors living in the United States had a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. They were also more likely to have worse scores on all the Child Health Questionnaire subscales.

    Many more studies illustrate the problem. One meta-study was conducted by the psychiatry department of Oxford University at Warneford Hospital in the United Kingdom. Twenty survey
    Statistical survey
    Survey methodology is the field that studies surveys, that is, the sample of individuals from a population with a view towards making statistical inferences about the population using the sample. Polls about public opinion, such as political beliefs, are reported in the news media in democracies....

    s were analyzed, providing results for 6,743 adult refugees from seven countries. In the larger studies, 9% were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and 5% with major depression, with evidence of much psychiatric co-morbidity. Five surveys of 260 refugee children from three countries yielded a prevalence
    Prevalence
    In epidemiology, the prevalence of a health-related state in a statistical population is defined as the total number of cases of the risk factor in the population at a given time, or the total number of cases in the population, divided by the number of individuals in the population...

     of 11% for post-traumatic stress disorder. According to this study, refugees resettled in Western countries could be about ten times more likely to have PTSD than age-matched general populations in those countries. Worldwide, tens of thousands of refugees and former refugees resettled in Western countries probably have post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Exploitation

    Refugee populations consist of people who are terrified and are away from familiar surroundings. There can be instances of exploitation at the hands of enforcement officials, citizens of the host country, and even United Nations peacekeepers. Instances of
    human rights violations, child labor, mental and physical trauma/torture, violence-related trauma, and sexual exploitation
    Sexual exploitation and abuse in humanitarian response
    The sexual exploitation and abuse of beneficiaries by humanitarian workers first came to public attention with the release of a report in February 2002 of a joint assessment mission looking into the issue...

    , especially of children, are not entirely unknown. In many refugee camps in three war-torn West African countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia, young girls were found to be exchanging sex for money, a handful of fruit, or even a bar of soap. Most of these girls were between 13 and 18 years of age. In most cases, if the girls had been forced to stay, they would had been forced into marriage. They became pregnant around the age of 15 on average. This happened as recently as in 2001. Parents tended to turn a blind eye because sexual exploitation had become a ‘‘mechanism of survival’’ in these camps.

    See also

    • Asylum shopping
      Asylum shopping
      Asylum shopping is a practice by asylum seekers of applying for asylum in several states or seeking to apply in a particular state after transiting other states. The term is used mostly in the context of the European Union and the Schengen area, but has been used by the Federal Court of Canada...

    • Conservation refugee
      Conservation refugee
      Conservation Refugees are people, usually indigenous, who are displaced from their native lands when conservation areas are created, such as parks and other protected areas....

    • Diaspora
      Diaspora
      A diaspora is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland" or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location", or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of...

      , a mass movement of population, usually forced by war or natural disaster
    • Emergency evacuation
      Emergency evacuation
      Emergency evacuation is the immediate and rapid movement of people away from the threat or actual occurrence of a hazard. Examples range from the small scale evacuation of a building due to a bomb threat or fire to the large scale evacuation of a district because of a flood, bombardment or...

    • Homo sacer
      Homo sacer
      Homo sacer is a figure of Roman law: a person who is banned, may be killed by anybody, but may not be sacrificed in a religious ritual....

    • Human migration
      Human migration
      Human migration is physical movement by humans from one area to another, sometimes over long distances or in large groups. Historically this movement was nomadic, often causing significant conflict with the indigenous population and their displacement or cultural assimilation. Only a few nomadic...

    • Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin
    • List of refugees

    • Mehran Karimi Nasseri, an Iranian refugee who lived in Charles de Gaulle Airport
    • Migrant literature
      Migrant literature
      Migrant literature, that is, writings by and to a lesser extent about migrants, is a topic which has commanded growing interest within literary studies since the 1980s...

    • No person is illegal
      No person is illegal
      No one is illegal is a loosely connected international network of antiracist groups and religious asylum initiatives, that represents non-resident immigrants who have lost their immigration documents or are otherwise at risk of deportation...

    • Open Border
    • Refugee Studies Centre
      Refugee Studies Centre
      The Refugee Studies Centre was established in 1982, as part of the University of Oxford’s Department of International Development , in order to promote the understanding of the causes and consequences of forced migration and to improve the lives of some of the world’s most marginalised people...

    • Refugees United
      Refugees United
      Refugees United is an independent, international non-governmental organization . It is registered as a 501 non-profit organization in the United States. Refugees United aims to assist refugees with an anonymous and safe internet search engine to find and reconnect with missing family members...

    • Right of asylum
      Right of asylum
      Right of asylum is an ancient juridical notion, under which a person persecuted for political opinions or religious beliefs in his or her own country may be protected by another sovereign authority, a foreign country, or church sanctuaries...

    • The I Live Here Projects
      The I Live Here Projects
      The I Live Here Foundation, also commonly referred to as the I Live Here Projects, is a United States 501 non profit organization dedicated to telling the stories of silenced and unheard people around the world through a series of books and other media projects.The I Live Here foundation was...



    Further reading

    • Refugee protection: A Guide to International Refugee Law UN HCR, Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2001
    • Alexander Betts Protection by Persuasion: International Cooperation in the Refugee Regime, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2009
    • Guy S. Goodwin-Gill and Jane McAdam The refugee in international law, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007
    • Matthew J. Gibney, "The Ethics and Politics of Asylum: Liberal Democracy and the Response to Refugees," Cambridge University Press 2004
    • Alexander Betts Forced Migration and Global Politics, London: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009
    • James Milner The Politics of Asylum in Africa, London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009
    • James C. Hathaway The rights of refugees under international law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005
    • Christina Boswell The ethics of refugee policy, Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005
    • Jane McAdam Complementary Protection, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007
    • Sarah Kenyon Lischer, Dangerous Sanctuaries, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2008
    • Susan F. Martin The uprooted - improving humanitarian responses to forced migration, Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2005
    • Stephen John Stedman & Fred Tanner (ed.) Refugee manipulation - war, politics, and the abuse of human suffering, Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press, 2003
    • Arthur C. Helton The price of indifference - refugees and humanitarian action in the new century. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002
    • Gil Loescher, Alexander Betts and James Milner UNHCR: The Politics and Practice of Refugee Protection into the Twenty-First Century. London: Routledge, 2008
    • Frances Nicholson & Patrick Twomey (ed/) Refugee rights and realities - evolving international concepts and regimes, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999
    • James C. Hathaway (ed.) Reconceiving international refugee law, The Hague: Nijhoff, 1997
    • Gil Loescher Beyond charity - international cooperation and the Global Refugee Crisis, New York: Oxford University Press, 1993
    • Aristide R. Zolberg, Astri Suhrke & Sergio Aguayo Escape from violence - conflict and the refugee crisis in the developing world, New York: Oxford University Press, 1989

    External links

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