2020: A record high for global displacement shows the need for more refugee protection - Refugee Council
June 18, 2021

2020: A record high for global displacement shows the need for more refugee protection

UNHCR’s 2020 Global Trends report is a stark reminder of the need for countries across the world to cooperate to provide more opportunities for people fleeing war and persecution to rebuild their lives.

The report highlights the number of people forcibly displaced worldwide has reached a record high of 82.4 million people.

The figures show that last year, the number of refugees being resettled fell to a twenty-year low of 34,300 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and states reducing their commitments. This was just one-third of the number resettled in 2019 (107,700), in the context where the estimated need is approximately 1.4 million.

The report also shows that nearly nine in ten refugees (86 per cent) are hosted by countries neighbouring crisis areas and in poorer countries. The least developed countries provided safety to over a quarter (27%) of all those claiming asylum.

Enver Solomon, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said:

With the number of people forcibly displaced doubling in the last decade, we know that more can be done by the world’s richest countries to provide safety for millions of refugees across the globe.

2020 saw the lowest number of refugees resettled for twenty years, and we must now see a renewed focus on refugee resettlement. People around the UK are keen to welcome individuals and families seeking protection into their communities, and those refugees are eager to start planning their futures and giving back to society.

Despite this, the UK Government’s New Plan for Immigration sets no target for resettlement places, even though UNHCR and other agencies are calling for Government to be ambitious and to  commit to resettle 10,000 refugees each year.

Central to the Government’s vision of a Global Britain should be a focus on refugee protection, and only by leading by example can we start to find durable long-term solutions for refugees across the world.