The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has said the global number of forcibly displaced people has passed 100 million for the first time, describing it as a “staggering milestone” and “a record that should never have been set”.
Officials said that the number of people forced to flee conflict, violence, human rights violations and persecution had risen to an unprecedented level due to the war in Ukraine along with other deadly conflicts.
Responding to this news, Enver Solomon, CEO of the Refugee Council said: “This is a truly shocking, dreadful figure. Behind every number is a human being with no choice but to flee home and all they know when the horrors of war, conflict and persecution risk their everyday lives.
“Such harrowing news can only be met with a bold response from our government and the international community more widely.
“This includes fully endorsing the commitments pledged in the Global Compact on Refugees, which urges governments to address the issue of forced displacement by strengthening the shared responsibility of those who aid refugees. It’s about following through on a bold, ambitious plan for introducing more resettlement places, which provide lifesaving support for some of the world’s most vulnerable people. And it’s about providing safe routes out of conflict so that people can come to the UK to have their asylum claims heard on British soil.
“The tragic irony is that at a time when war and human rights abuses globally are leaving more and more men, women and children desperately unsafe and in need of protection, our Government is actually reducing our global responsibility, picking and choosing which nationalities are deserving of our support, criminalising people who come to the UK in search of safety and washing our hands of them by sending them to other countries at UK taxpayers expense. Not only is this shameful and cruel, it is also completely out of touch with the British public, whose incredible generosity towards those fleeing conflicts in Afghanistan and Ukraine show clearly that want to support people in need of safety.”