Refugee camp
Overview
 


A refugee camp is a temporary settlement built to receive refugee
Refugee
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...

s. Hundreds of thousands of people may live in any one single camp. Usually they are built and run by a government, 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...

, or international organizations, (such as 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...

) 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.

Refugee camps are generally set up in an impromptu fashion and designed to meet basic human needs
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity...

 for only a short time. Some refugee camps are dirty and unhygienic.
Encyclopedia


A refugee camp is a temporary settlement built to receive refugee
Refugee
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...

s. Hundreds of thousands of people may live in any one single camp. Usually they are built and run by a government, 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...

, or international organizations, (such as 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...

) 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.

Refugee camps are generally set up in an impromptu fashion and designed to meet basic human needs
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation. Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity...

 for only a short time. Some refugee camps are dirty and unhygienic. If the return of refugees is prevented (often by 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....

), a humanitarian crisis
Humanitarian crisis
A humanitarian crisis is an event or series of events which represents a critical threat to the health, safety, security or wellbeing of a community or other large group of people, usually over a wide area...

 can result.

Some refugee camps have existed for decades and some people can stay in refugee camps for decades, both of which have major implications for 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...

. Some grow into permanent settlements and even merge with nearby older communities, such as Ein el-Helweh and Deir al-Balah.

Facilities

Facilities of a refugee camp can include the following:
  • Sleeping accommodation
    Lodging
    Lodging is a type of residential accommodation. People who travel and stay away from home for more than a day need lodging for sleep, rest, safety, shelter from cold temperatures or rain, storage of luggage and access to common household functions.Lodgings may be self catering in which case no...

    s (tent
    Tent
    A tent is a shelter consisting of sheets of fabric or other material draped over or attached to a frame of poles or attached to a supporting rope. While smaller tents may be free-standing or attached to the ground, large tents are usually anchored using guy ropes tied to stakes or tent pegs...

    s)
  • Hygiene
    Hygiene
    Hygiene refers to the set of practices perceived by a community to be associated with the preservation of health and healthy living. While in modern medical sciences there is a set of standards of hygiene recommended for different situations, what is considered hygienic or not can vary between...

     facilities (cleaning and toilet
    Toilet
    A toilet is a sanitation fixture used primarily for the disposal of human excrement, often found in a small room referred to as a toilet/bathroom/lavatory...

    s)
  • Medical supplies
  • Communication equipment (e.g. radio
    Radio
    Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

    )
  • Protection from bandits (e.g. barriers
    Barricade
    Barricade, from the French barrique , is any object or structure that creates a barrier or obstacle to control, block passage or force the flow of traffic in the desired direction...

    , checkpoints, peacekeeping troops).

Duration

People may stay in these camps, receiving emergency food and medical aid, until it is safe to return to their homes. 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. Although camps are intended to be temporary, it is possible for camps to remain in place for decades. Palestinian refugee camps have existed for 50 years, while other well-known camps such as Buduburam
Buduburam
Buduburam is a refugee camp located west of Accra, Ghana. Opened by the UNHCR in 1990, the camp is home to more than 12,000 refugees from Liberia who fled their country during the First Liberian Civil War and the Second Liberian Civil War , in addition to refugees from Sierra Leone who also...

 have hosted populations for over 20 years.

Exportation

Globally, about 17 countries (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...

, Benin
Benin
Benin , officially the Republic of Benin, is a country in West Africa. It borders Togo to the west, Nigeria to the east and Burkina Faso and Niger to the north. Its small southern coastline on the Bight of Benin is where a majority of the population is located...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso
Burkina Faso – also known by its short-form name Burkina – is a landlocked country in west Africa. It is surrounded by six countries: Mali to the north, Niger to the east, Benin to the southeast, Togo and Ghana to the south, and Côte d'Ivoire to the southwest.Its size is with an estimated...

, 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...

, Chile
Chile
Chile ,officially the Republic of Chile , is a country in South America occupying a long, narrow coastal strip between the Andes mountains to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far...

, 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...

, 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...

, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

, Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

, Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, 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...

, 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...

, 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...

, 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....

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

) regularly accept "quota refugees" from refugee camps. Refugee camps are typically used to describe settlements of people who have escaped war in their home country and have fled to a country of first asylum. In recent years, most quota refugees have come from 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...

, 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....

, 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...

, 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...

, and 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...

, which have been in various wars and revolutions, and the former Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia
Yugoslavia refers to three political entities that existed successively on the western part of the Balkans during most of the 20th century....

, due to the 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...

.

Notable camps

Notable refugee camps:
  • Camps in the east of 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...

    , such as Breidjing Camp
    Breidjing Camp
    Breidjing Camp is a refugee camp in Chad created in May 2004 for Sudanese refugees from Darfur.- External links :* Briefing notes regarding opening of camp....

    , hosting approximately 250,000 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 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...

     (since 2002)
  • Buduburam
    Buduburam
    Buduburam is a refugee camp located west of Accra, Ghana. Opened by the UNHCR in 1990, the camp is home to more than 12,000 refugees from Liberia who fled their country during the First Liberian Civil War and the Second Liberian Civil War , in addition to refugees from Sierra Leone who also...

     refugee camp, home to more than 12,000 Liberians (opened 1990)
  • Camps in the south of 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...

    , hosting approximately 50,000 refugees from 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 ,...

  • Dadaab
    Dadaab
    Dadaab is a semi-arid town in the North Eastern Province in Kenya. As of 2011, it hosts what is often described as the largest refugee camp in the world.-General:...

     refugee camps in North Eastern Kenya
  • Palestine refugee camps (opened 1948)
  • Camps on the Thai-Cambodian border between 1979 and 1993: Nong Samet
    Nong Samet Refugee Camp
    Nong Samet Refugee Camp, also known as 007, Rithisen or Rithysen was one of the largest refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border and served as a power base for the KPNLF until its destruction by the Vietnamese military in late 1984....

    , Nong Chan
    Nong Chan Refugee Camp
    Nong Chan Refugee Camp was one of the earliest organized refugee camps on the Thai-Cambodian border, where thousands of Khmer refugees sought food and health care after fleeing the Vietnamese invasion of Democratic Kampuchea in 1979...

    , Sa Kaeo
    Sa Kaeo Refugee Camp
    Sa Kaeo Refugee Camp was the first organized refugee relief camp established on the Thai-Cambodian border by the Royal Thai Government with support from international relief agencies including the United Nations. It was opened in October 1979 and closed in early July 1980...

    , Site Two
    Site Two Refugee Camp
    Site Two Refugee Camp was the largest refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border and, for several years, the largest refugee camp in Southeast Asia...

    , Khao-I-Dang
    Khao-I-Dang
    Khao-I-Dang Holding Center was a Cambodian refugee camp located 20 km north of Aranyaprathet in Prachinburi Province of Thailand...

  • Four Sahrawi refugee camps near Tindouf
    Tindouf
    Tindouf is the main town in Tindouf Province, Algeria, close to the Mauritanian and Moroccan borders. The region is considered of strategic significance, and it houses Algerian military bases. Since 1975, it also contains several Sahrawi refugee camps operated by the Polisario Front a guerrilla...

    , 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...

     (opened circa 1976)
  • Camps for Sri Lankan Tamils, 110,000 in India in 1998, and more than 560,000 internally displaced [Starting 1983]
  • Israeli immigrant camps (1947-1950) and 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...

     transition camps (1950-1963) to accommodate Jewish refugees and immigrants in Israel.
  • Niatak refugee camp
    Niatak refugee camp
    Niatak is an Afghan refugee camp in Iran's southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan Province, near the Iranian city of Zahedan and close to the Afghan border...

     of Afghan refugees in Iran.
  • Lampedusa immigrant reception center
    Lampedusa immigrant reception center
    Lampedusa immigrant reception center has been operating since the early 2000s, when the Italian island of Lampedusa has become a primary European entry point for immigrants from Africa....

     for refugees, asylum seekers and illegal immigrants on the Italian island of Lampedusa
    Lampedusa
    Lampedusa is the largest island of the Italian Pelagie Islands in the Mediterranean Sea. The comune of Lampedusa e Linosa is part of the Sicilian province of Agrigento which also includes the smaller islands of Linosa and Lampione. It is the southernmost part of Italy. Tunisia, which is about ...

    .
  • Ras Jdir refugee camp on Libyan-Tunisian border, housing more than 30,000 Libyan refugees
    Refugees of the 2011 Libyan civil war
    Refugees of the 2011 Libyan civil war are the people, predominantly Libyans, who fled or were expelled from their homes during the 2011 Libyan civil war, from within the borders of Libya to the neighbouring states of Tunisia, Egypt and Chad, as well as to European countries across the Mediterranean...

    (opened 2011)
  • Hatay Province
    Hatay Province
    Hatay Province is a province in southern Turkey, on the Mediterranean coast. It is bordered by Syria to the south and east and the Turkish provinces of Adana and Osmaniye to the north. The province is part of Çukurova, a geographical, economical and cultural region that covers the provinces of...

     (Turkey) camps for Syrian refugees (opened 2011)


See also

  • 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...

  • Tent city
    Tent City
    A tent city is a temporary housing facility made using tents. Informal tent cities may be set up without authorization by homeless people or protesters. As well, state governments or military organizations set up tent cities to house refugees, evacuees, or soldiers...

  • Transitional shelter
    Transitional shelter
    Transitional shelter is any of a range of shelter options that help a person or population displaced by conflict or natural disaster until they return to permanent accommodation....

  • United Nations Border Relief Operation which administered camps in Thailand 1982-1993.
  • 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)
  • 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...


External links

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