1 in every 78 people on earth is now displaced
June 20 is designated as World Refugee Day by the United Nations. The theme for World Refugee Day 2022 is whoever, whatever, whenever. Everyone has got a right to seek safety.
What are the Highlights of the Report?
Globally 100 million people were forced to flee their homes last year (= more than 1% of the world’s population) due to
- human rights abuses,
- food insecurity,
- the climate crisis,
- war in Ukraine,
- and other emergencies from Africa to Afghanistan
The number of people forced to flee their homes has increased year after year over the last decade, reaching an all-time high since records began, a trend that can only be reversed by a new, concerted push toward peacemaking.
What is Global Trends Report?
- It shows the most recent numbers of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people, and stateless people around the world, as well as the number of people who have returned to their countries or areas of origin.
- The report is issued once a year and covers the previous year.
- The figures are based on information provided by governments, non-governmental organizations, and UNHCR.
- Internal displacement refers to people who have been forced to leave their homes but have not left their country.
- Difference from Refugee: A “refugee,” according to the 1951 Refugee Convention, is a person who has been persecuted and forced to flee his home country.
- A person must cross an international border in order to be considered a refugee.
- Internally Displaced Persons, unlike refugees, are not covered by any international treaty.
- However, the United Nations has established Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
- Internally Displaced Individuals face difficulties. They live in fear of physical assault, sexual or gender-based violence, and separation from family members. They are frequently denied adequate shelter, food, and health care, and they most often lose their property, land, or access to livelihoods.
- Lack of Legal Status to Climate Refugees: From a legal perspective, UNHCR does not support the term “climate refugee,” which does not exist in international law. It is also very difficult to assess whether someone who has been displaced in the context of climate change would have been displaced anyway had there been no climate change.
What is UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)?
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established in 1950, in the aftermath of World War II, to assist millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes.
- The UNHCR was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 for its groundbreaking work in Europe. But it wasn’t long before we had our next major crisis.
- During the 1960s, the decolonization of Africa produced the first of that continent’s numerous refugee crises.
- It received a second Nobel Peace Prize in 1981
The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol:
- They are the key legal documents that form the basis of its work. They define the term “refugee” and outline refugees’ rights, as well as states’ legal obligations to protect them.
- The central principle is non-refoulement, which states that a refugee should not be returned to a country where their life or freedom is seriously threatened. This is now considered a rule of customary international law.
- UNHCR is the “guardian” of the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol.