Disheartening global displacement figures, says Norway’s Jan Egeland / News / The Foreigner

Disheartening global displacement figures, says Norway’s Jan Egeland. Nearly 60 million people have to leave their homes, the UNHCR’s report shows. The document, released in Geneva two days ahead of 20th June’s World Refugee Day, warns of a dangerous new era. Worldwide displacement from wars, conflict, and persecution is at its highest level since the Second World War, and is accelerating sharply.

refugees, asylum, syria



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Disheartening global displacement figures, says Norway’s Jan Egeland

Published on Saturday, 20th June, 2015 at 11:09 under the news category, by Marit Fosse.

Nearly 60 million people have to leave their homes, the UNHCR’s report shows.

Migrants and refugees prior to disembarkation
1 in every 122 humans worldwide is now a refugee, internally-displaced, or seeking asylum.Migrants and refugees prior to disembarkation
Photo: Amnesty International Italy


The document, released in Geneva two days ahead of 20th June’s World Refugee Day, warns of a dangerous new era.

Worldwide displacement from wars, conflict, and persecution is at its highest level since the Second World War, and is accelerating sharply.

According to the annual Global Trends report, 59.5 million people were forcibly displaced at the end of 2014, compared to 51.2 million a year earlier.

“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres.

With the figure being 37.5 million a decade ago, the increase since 2013 has been the highest-ever seen in a single year.

“It is terrifying that on the one hand there is more and more impunity for those starting conflicts, and on the other there is seeming utter inability of the international community to work together to stop wars and build and preserve peace,” Mr Guterres added.

“Ignoring their responsibility”

The main acceleration has been since early 2011 when war erupted in Syria, propelling it into becoming the world’s single-largest driver of displacement.

Close to 12 million Syrians have been forced to flee their homes; most of them being displaced within their own country. Only six per cent of the Syrian refugees have applied for asylum in Europe.

An average of 42,500 people became refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced every day last year, representing a four-fold increase in just four years.

Worldwide, one in every 122 humans is now a refugee, internally-displaced, or seeking asylum. This number would comprise the population of the world’s 24th-largest country were it to be one.

“Far too many of the world’s richest and most peaceful countries are ignoring their global responsibility to provide assistance and protection. They are hiding behind closed borders. Stronger international responsibility-sharing is crucial,” declared Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.

“We have never seen more disheartening displacement statistics before. In 2014, a new person was displaced every other second.”

Failing                                 

Mr Egeland also stated that Europe is “not shouldering” its current share of the current displacement crisis, with “tens of thousands of refugees risking their lives on overcrowded boats” in the hope of crossing the Mediterranean or the Indian Ocean.

“The world’s poorest countries and communities host the vast majority of displaced persons. Europe and other developed countries must step up their support. For many, it is impossible to seek asylum and protection in accordance with the Refugee Convention without resorting to people smugglers. It is a very clear signal that the international system is not working.”

He appeals for stronger international commitment to action, declaring that peace mediation and diplomacy can mean conflicts are avoided or settled.

“Increased financial support can help more people return home. Political commitment can make it possible for displaced people to integrate and find a new life where they have settled.”

Conflicts in South Sudan, Iraq, and Ukraine also contributed to the sharp escalation in 2014’s displacement figures. Ongoing violence in these countries has led to further displacement this year.

“Sadly, in several of the ongoing conflicts around the world, regional and international powers continue to add fuel to the fire by providing the warring parties with weapons and money,” remarked Mr Egeland. 

Region-by-region rise

In the past five years, at least 15 conflicts have erupted or reignited. Eight are in the African countries of Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Republic, Libya, Mali, north-eastern Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, and this year in Burundi.

Three conflicts regard the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, and Yemen), one in Europe (Ukraine), as well as three in Asia (Kyrgyzstan, and in several areas of Myanmar and Pakistan).

Few of these crises have been resolved, most still generate new displacement. Just 126,800 refugees were able to return to their home countries in 2014, the lowest number in 31 years.

Decades-old instability and conflict in Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere mean that millions of people from these places remain either on the move, or – and increasingly commonly – stranded for years on the peripheries of society, according to the report.

Currently, we are failing on all counts. As a result, millions of young people are denied the hope of a better future. The result will haunt us for decades,” said Jan Egeland.



Published on Saturday, 20th June, 2015 at 11:09 under the news category, by Marit Fosse.

This post has the following tags: refugees, asylum, syria.





  
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