According to the UNCHR, “The global population of forcibly displaced increased by 2.3 million people in 2018. By the end of the year, almost 70.8 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations. As a result, the world’s forcibly displaced population remained yet again at a record high. ” *
This Global Trends: FORCED DISPLACEMENT IN 2018 (published in 2019) report analysed statistical trends and changes in global displacement from January to December 2018 in populations for whom UNHCR has been entrusted with a responsibility by the international community, including refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, stateless people and conflict-affected internally displaced people. The data presented are based on information received as of 18 May 2019 unless otherwise indicated. The figures in the report are based on data reported by governments, non-governmental organizations, and UNHCR.
The report discusses all forms of displacement including refugees, asylum-seekers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees (refugees and IDPs), stateless persons, and others of concern to UNHCR.
According to the report, refugees from the top 10 countries of origin, among them, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, the Sudan, Somalia, Myanmar, the Congo, Burundi, accounted for 82% of refugees (16.6 million) in 2018, similar to 2017. As in 2017, over two thirds of the world’s refugees come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. As has been the case since 2014, the main country of origin for refugees in 2018 was Syria, with 6.7 million at the end of the year, an increase over the 6.3 million from a year earlier.
While these refugees were hosted by 127 countries on six continents, the vast majority (85%) remained in countries in the region. Turkey continued to host the largest population of Syrian refugees, increasing throughout 2018 through both new registrations and births to reach 3,622,400 by the end of the year.
The UNCHR’s report offers solutions says that lasting solutions require collective commitment so millions of displaced people can rebuild their lives.
1- Resettlement remains a life-saving tool to ensure the protection of those refugees most at risk. As one of the key objectives of the Global Compact on Refugees, “resettlement and complementary pathways are also mechanisms for governments and communities across the world to share responsibility for responding to increasing forced displacement crises and help reduce the impact of large refugee situations on host countries.”
2- In addition to refugee resettlement, complementary pathways for admission of refugees are key to expanding access to third-country solutions.
3- One durable solution is the local integration of refugees. This is a complex and gradual process that involves refugees establishing themselves in a country of asylum and integrating into the community there.
4- Separate but equally important legal, economic, social, and cultural aspects to local integration form part of the process, which over time should lead to permanent residence rights and, in many cases, the acquisition of citizenship in the country of asylum.
*Global Trends: FORCED DISPLACEMENT IN 2018 https://www.unhcr.org/statistics/unhcrstats/5d08d7ee7/unhcr-global-trends-2018.html
Image by Marlyn Tadros, Camp Atma, Syria 2013.