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 UNHCR, 57% of refugees worldwide come from three different countries: Syria – 6.3 million; Afghanistan – 2.6 million; and South Sudan – 2.4 million. 85% of the world’s displaced people are living in developing countries.
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.