Today, more than 65 million people — nearly one out of every 100 people — have been forced from their homes, often fleeing with only the items on their backs. The circumstances that cause these individuals and families to leave everything behind include war, persecution, extreme violence and terror. The result is the greatest humanitarian crisis of our lifetime.
What is a forcibly displaced person?
According to the United Nations, every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror.
- Refugees: A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.
- Asylum seekers: Asylum seekers have fled their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.
- Internally Displaced Persons: Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people who have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.
- Stateless Persons: Stateless persons do not have a recognized nationality and do not belong to any country. Statelessness situations are usually caused by discrimination against certain groups. Their lack of identification — a citizenship certificate — can exclude them from access to important government services, including health care, education or employment.