The facts about asylum

Poor countries - not the UK - look after most of the world's refugees

  • The UK is home to less than 1% of the world’s refugees – out of more than 59.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. (UNHCR Mid-Year Trends 2015)
  • About 86% of the world’s refugees are living in developing countries, often in camps.  (UNHCR Global Trends 2014)
  • Over 5 million people have fled conflict in Syria, and many more are displaced inside the country. Turkey is the biggest refugee hosting country in the world. It is currently giving sanctuary to 2.5 million Syrian refugees, while Jordan and Lebanon host 1.7 million between them. By the end of 2016 the UK had resettled 5,706 Syrian refugees.
  • The likelihood that a refugee will be recognised as having protection needs and granted status depends on the country where they apply for asylum. In the UK in 2016, 28% of people who applied for protection were granted it at initial decision. In some countries, such as Switzerland and Finland, over 70% of applications succeed. (UNHCR Statistical Yearbook 2010).