Ahead of World Refugee Day, UNHCR published their Global Trends report for 2017 revealing that 68.5 million people were forcibly displaced, and increase of 2.9 million people on the previous year.
Of this number, 40 million people had been displaced within their own countries, while 25.4 million people had been forced to flee their countries and become refugees. An additional 3.1 million people are still awaiting decision on their claim for asylum.
Other key findings in 2017 were:
- Over half (52%) of the total refugee population were children.
- The number of new displacements was equivalent to an average of 44,400 people being forced to flee their homes every day in 2017.
- Developing regions hosted 85% of the world’s refugees.
Dr Lisa Doyle, Director of Advocacy at the Refugee Council, stated:
“For another year we are reading the news that the number of people forced to flee their homes is at a record high. With developing countries still hosting 85% of the world’s refugees, it is clear that there is an urgent need for a better global response to support those who are fleeing conflict and persecution.
If should not only fall in the neighbours of conflict zones to provide safety to those who see no choice but to leave their homes. We need to see countries working together to ensure that refugees are offered safe and regular escape routes. The Home Secretary should lead the way by helping to reunite families torn apart by war and persecution, changing the restrictive rules that keep refugees in the UK apart from those they love.”