Refugees World Refugee

Topics: Refugee, Internally displaced person, Forced migration Pages: 3 (1017 words) Published: December 16, 2005

The term refugee is defined in 1951 Convention of Refugees. Article 1 of the Convention defines a refugee as: ¡§A person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there for fear of persecution¡¨ (p. 6). When civilians cross international border, they are usually afforded food and shelter, and also protected by the laws of their host country. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are ¡§individuals or groups of people who have been forced to flee their homes to escape armed conflict, generalized violence and human rights abuses. Millions of other civilians who have survived natural disasters such as floods are also generally classified as IDPs¡¨ (Internally Displaced People, 2005, p. 6). They do not fall within the operational capabilities of UNHCR and are depended on ¡¥protection¡¦ of their own government.

Summary of Research Findings
According to the data collected by the United States Committee for Refugees World Refugee Survey at the end of 2002, the total number of refugees together with Asylum seekers was 13.0 millions throughout the world. The number of internally displaced persons was 21.8 millions, which means that 34.8 million people were forced to leave their home in order to find safety somewhere else (Forced Migration Learning Module, 2003). All groups of people are forced to suffer, regardless of age and gender, including everyone form newborns to the elderly. It is estimated that about 7.7 million children are under care of UNHCR, but the total number of children under age of 18, including those who have no protection, is unknown. Refugees above 60 years of age account for 15 percent, while women and girls constitute between 45-55 percent of the refugee...

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