11 Facts about refugees:
- A refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of nationality and can't return due to a well-founded fear of persecution because of his or her race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.
- At the end of 2013, there were 16.7 million refugees worldwide, with the highest number in Pakistan (1.6 million).
- It’s estimated that 50% of refugees are under the age of 18.
- An asylum seeker is a person who is looking to be recognized as a refugee, but has not yet received formal refugee status. The most asylum seekers come from Pakistan and Iran.
- Internally displaced people (IDPs) are those who have been forced to leave their homes as a result of armed conflict, generalized violence or human rights violations. Unlike refugees they have not crossed an international border.
- In 2011, there were roughly 26.4 million people displaced internally (within their country of origin) by conflict.
- Under international law, refugees are not allowed to be forced back to the countries they have fled.
- Developing countries host 80% of the world’s refugees.
- In 2012, the region with the most number of IDPs was in the Middle East and North Africa (2.5 million people).
- A total of 895,000 individual applications for asylum or refugee status were submitted to governments and UNHCR offices in 166 countries in 2011. Roughly 11% of these requests were fulfilled.
- 2013 saw a significant number of people seeking asylum or refugee status from countries experiencing recent or ongoing conflict or security concerns.