THE BIG PICTURE2020-04-03T15:43:04+00:00

How Refugee Resettlement Works

Who are refugees?

The definition of a refugee is a person who has left his or her country and is unable or unwilling to return, owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Determination of refugee status is made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) after a person has had to flee their country due to war, persecution and violence.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are currently 70.8 million people forcibly displaced worldwide. This includes 25.9 million refugees outside of their country. Over half of refugees are children under 18.

According to UNHCR, 57% of refugees worldwide come from three different countries:  Syria – 6.7 million; Afghanistan – 2.7 million; and South Sudan – 2.3 million.

Half of global refugees are living in cities in a country of asylum, rather than the refugee “camps” many imagine. They have varying educational levels and work experience. They are doctors, lawyers, teachers, carpenters, engineers, farmers, and students.