News

UN registered 65.3 million displaced persons in 2015

20 de junho de 2016

On World Refugee Day, an arm of the United Nations released a report on people who left their homes fleeing conflict. Syria is the biggest refugee source country and Turkey is the primary destination.

São Paulo – At the end of 2015 there were 65.3 million forcibly displaced persons around the world, up 9.7% from 2014 and the highest number since the end of World War , in 1945. The figures are from the report Global Trends – Forced Displacement 2015 released this Monday (20), World Refugee Day, by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Acnur). It says that out of all the people who had left their homes by the end of last year, 40.8 million were internally displaced, 21.3 million were refugees and 3.2 million were applying for asylum in industrialized countries.

The leading source country of refugees in 2015 was Syria, where civil war between president Bashar Al Assad’s forces and its opponents has been dragging on since 2011. By the end of last year, there were 4.9 million Syrian refugees around the world, nearly a million more than in the end of 2014. Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Myanmar, Eritrea and Colombia were the ten leading sources of refugees in the world last year.

Turkey welcomed the most refugees: at the end of 2014, the country was home to roughly 1.6 million refugees. By the end of the year the number had soared to 2.5 million. Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia, Jordan, Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad welcomed the most refugees.

The UNHCR’s report also shows that the country with the highest refugee-to-inhabitant ratio is Lebanon, which had 183 refugees per 1,000 inhabitants last year. The ratio in Jordan was 87 per 1,000. Nauru, Oceania, had 50 refugees per 1,000 inhabitants.

On releasing the document, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said in a statement that each year, the UNHCR seeks to find a “glimmer of hope” in refugee statistics to show how the world is finding solutions to help heal the trauma of refugees. “But this year the hopeful signs are hard to find,” he said.

“Instead of burden sharing, we see borders closing, instead of political will there is political paralysis. And humanitarian organisations like mine are left to deal with the consequences, while at the same time struggling to save lives on limited budgets,” Grandi asserted.

The report shows that for the most part, people will leave home but stay in their own countries. Most of those who decide to go abroad seek shelter in neighboring countries. In Syria, the majority fled for Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Afghans primarily relocated to Pakistan and Iran.

Some went farther than that. Last year, over a million people risked crossing the Mediterranean Sea in overcrowded boats to try to get to Europe. Of those, some 850,000 made the Aegean Sea crossing attempting to reach Greece, Italy and Spain – 3,770 of them died or vanished after their vessels sank. Half the refugees who made it to Europe via the Mediterranean were Syrians.

Germany received the most asylum applications: 441,900, 158,700 of which were made by Syrians. Ukraine, Afghanistan and Iraq received over 150,000 requests in 2015.
Ucrânia, Afeganistão e Iraque tinham mais de 150 mil solicitações de asilo em 2015.

United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said refugee responses must be grounded in non-discrimination, human rights and the principle of non-refoulement.

" With anti-refugee rhetoric so loud, it is sometimes difficult to hear the voices of welcome. But these do exist, all around the world. In the past year, in many countries and regions, we have witnessed an extraordinary outpouring of compassion and solidarity, as ordinary people and communities have opened their homes and their hearts to refugees, and States have welcomed new arrivals even while already hosting large numbers of refugees,” he said.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum