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Refugees. Refugee.

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UN official Definition: is a person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country



In Canada –

Convention refugees are people who are outside their home country or the country where they normally live, and who are unwilling to return because of a well-founded fear of persecution based on:



political opinion

nationality or

membership in a particular social group, such as women or people of a particular sexual orientation.


Asylum seekers are people who have left their home country and have applied for refugee status in some other country

15 million refugees world wide



A displaced person (sometimes abbreviated DP) is a person who has been forced to leave his or her native place, a phenomenon known as forced migration. Hmong


IDP’S – (internally displaced persons) are people who flee their homes but remain within their home country, unlike refugees, they do not cross any international boundaries

As of 2011~ 26.4 million IDPs in 54 countries due to conflict – 14.9 million due to envronmental hazard

Africa region with largest # of IDPs 14 million in 21 countries

70-80% of IDPs are women and children


Top 5 countries with largest IDPs population - Colombia, DRC, Iraq, Sudan and Turkey


Top 5 countries with largest IDPs population

Colombia 3.6 to 5.2 million - conflict army and revolutionary armed forces of colombiaFARC

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 1.9 mill. - fighting militia and congolese armed forces DRC

Iraq - 2.8 mill (war) Conflict

Sudan – 4.5 to 5.2 mill Sudan

Turkey - 1.2 mill PKK

Syria - Conflict


~ 80% of refugees are women and children.

often carry heaviest burden of survival for themselves & families

Women & adolescent girls are especially vulnerable to exploitation, rape, abuse and other forms of gender-based violence


  • More than 43 million children living in conflict-affected areas don’t have a chance to go to school.

Children & youth ~ 50 % of all refugees worldwide

deliberate targets of abuse, easy prey to military recruitment & abduction Child Soldierswomen


Girls in particular face significant obstacles accessing education.


Without education refugee women & youth often struggle to support themselves & families

Refugees displaced for longer periods than ever before (68% of all refugees are now displaced for an average of 17 years) --> ability (particularly women & youth) to earn a living & sustain themselves & families is becoming more difficult


people who have been uprooted from their homes may come to developed countries in search of safe haven (U.S. attracts many)

detained by the U.S. government until asylum cases are decided—can be days, weeks, months or even years. ICEBerksTour

ASYLUM - Protection and immunity from extradition granted by a government to a political refugee from another country




Many are women & children who seek asylum in the U.S. after fleeing gender- and age-related persecution.

Sometimes children are alone, having fled abusive families or other human rights abuses

Detained women asylum seekers are also particularly vulnerable to abuse in detention





Women & children asylum seekers who reach the U.S. are often imprisoned and at times subjected to inhumane conditions, abuse and poor medical care, and denied legal representation and other services


NGO --> Women’s Commission For Refugee Women and Children (WRC)

The WRC advocates vigorously for laws, policies and programs to improve the lives and protect the rights of refugee and internally displaced women, `children & young people, including those seeking asylum WCR


speaks out on issues of concern to refugee and displaced women, children and adolescents --> raises awareness

provides opportunities for refugee women and youth to speak for themselves through briefings, testimony, participation in field assessments and international conferences


speaks out on issues of concern to refugee and displaced women, children and adolescents --> raises awareness

provides opportunities for refugee women and youth to speak for themselves through briefings, testimony, participation in field assessments and international conferences


The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR; established December 14, 1950) to protect & support refugees

At the request of a government or the UN itself


assists in their voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.

Its headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.

Repatriation - is the process of return of refugees or soldiers to their homes


its mandate - to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide

primary purpose - to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees

It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country



Who they Help

Asylum seekers




Older people

People with disabilities



Stateless People




As of 1 January 2007, UNHCR reported a total of 21 018 589 individuals falling under its mandate

  • 7,979,251 Asia

  • 2,580,638 Middle East

  • 2,974,315 South East Asia

  • 218,584 Central Asia

  • 1,304,189 South Asia

  • 901,525 East Asia Pacific


  • 4,740,392 in Europe

  • 1,617,214 Eastern Europe

  • 708,132 South-East Europe

  • 616,132 Central Europe & Baltic States

  • 1,304,189 South Asia

  • 1,798,914 Western Europe


  • 5,069,123 in Africa

  • 1,359,175 Central Africa

  • 2,105314 Eastern Africa

  • 1.031,030 Western Africa

  • 434,427 South Africa

  • 139, 177 North Africa

  • 3,229,822 in America

  • 717,545 North America $ Caribbean

  • 2,512,277 South America


June 20th, 2011 - World Refugee Day

Theme is Home - “They have taken my home but they can't take my future” (2010)

1 is too many (2011)

Regugees have no choice.

You do.

No one chooses

Angelina Jolie


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