Our classes include students from all over the globe. With an increasing number of refugee students entering our program, I thought it might be a good idea to shed some light on the facts about displaced persons, what resources are available for them, and what organizations facilitate their settlement. At the end of the post are resources for local refugee resettlement organizations. Like most non-profit organizations, they are in need of donations and volunteers.
The refugee crisis that has erupted around the world has been a mounting problem for some time now. Every year numerous organizations publish status reports on the state of the world’s displaced persons. In June 2015, The UN’s Refugee Agency UNHCR published their annual analysis of global forced displacement, revealing shocking numbers of people who have been forced to flee their homes. Here are just a few of the facts that emerged from the report:
- In 2014, global displacement reached historic levels: 59.5 million people were forced to flee their homes: roughly the same number of people in Britain. If these people made up their own country, it would be the 24th largest nation in the world.
- In 2014 alone, 8.3 million people were forced to flee: the highest annual increase on record.
- That means that 42,500 people were forced to leave their homes every daybecause of conflict or persecution.
- Of these people, 19.5 million are refugees, 1.8 million are asylum seekers and 38.2 million were internally displaced within their own country.
- 86% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries.
- More than half (53%) of the world’s refugees are from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. The largest source of the world’s refugees is Syria. One in five displaced persons is from Syria.
- The top 5 host countries for refugees are:
- More than half of the world’s refugees are children(51%): the highest figure in over a decade.
- In 2014, 34,300 asylum claims were made by unaccompanied children: the highest number since records began.Most of the children were Afghan, Eritrean, Syrian or Somali.
Organizations that Advocate, Educate, and Provide Services
International Office of Migration. http://www.iom.int/
IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. As the leading international organization for migration, IOM acts with its partners in the international community to:
- Assist in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management.
- Advance understanding of migration issues.
- Encourage social and economic development through migration.
- Uphold the human dignity and well-being of migrants.
UNHCR. The UN Refugee Agency. http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home
UNHCR is “United Nations High Commission on Refugees”. www.unhcr.org They are probably the most well known organization that provides assistance to refugees, but they also do much more:
- Alternatives to Camps
- Asylum and Migration
- Capacity Building
- Durable Solutions
- Emergency Response
- Climate Change
US Committee for Refugees and Migrants. http://www.refugees.org/ This organization focuses its efforts in the following areas:
- Refugee resettlement
- Human trafficking
- Migrant Children
USCRI North Carolina http://www.refugees.org/about-us/where-we-work/north-carolina/
Refugees International. http://www.refugeesinternational.org/ Refugees International (RI) advocates for lifesaving protection and assistance for displaced people and promotes solutions to displacement crises. We shine a light on the real problems, and make recommendations to policy makers at the highest levels that help shape the response to those in need.
International Rescue Committee. www.rescue.org
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic well being, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster.
Organization for Refuge, Asylum & Migration http://www.oraminternational.org/en/ ORAM is the only international organization devoted solely to advocating on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) refugees fleeing persecution due to sexual orientation or gender identity.
Local Refugee Resettlement Agencies
- Lutheran Services (Raleigh) http://www.lscarolinas.net/services-for-refugees/refugee-resettlement/
- Church World Service (Durham) http://cwsrdu.org/
- USCRI (Downtown Raleigh) http://www.refugees.org/about-us/where-we-work/north-carolina/?referrer=https://www.google.com/
- World Relief (Durham) http://worldrelief.org/page.aspx?pid=192
- North Carolina African Services Coalition (Greensboro) http://ascafrica.org/
How can you help?