Toronto – June 20, 2013 – The United Nations (UN) World Refugee Day is observed every year on June 20th, to honour the strength, courage and determination of millions of women, children and men who are forced to flee their homes under the threat of war, conflict, violence or persecution. This year’s focus is on the impact of war on families and the theme is “1 family torn apart by war is too many”.
42.5 million – forcibly displaced people worldwide in 2011. Of these, 15.2 million were refugees, 10.4 million were under UNHCR’s mandate and 4.8 million were Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA; also included were 876,100 asylum seekers, and internally displaced persons.
25.9 million – refugees and internal displaced persons under UNHCR protection.
4.3 million – newly displaced refugees due to conflict or persecution.
3.5 million – stateless persons worldwide.
876,100 people submitted individual applications for asylum or refugee status.
17,700 asylum applications were made by unaccompanied or separated children.
46 per cent of refugees were under the age of 18.
49 per cent of all refugees were women and girls.
Over 75 per cent of the world’s refugees are in a neighbouring country.
25 per cent of the world refugees come from Afghanistan. Afghanistan continues to be the source of most asylum-seekers, followed by the Syrian Arab Republic, Serbia and Kosovo, and China.
Developing countries are host to 80%, of the refugee population. The 48 least developed countries (LDC) provided asylum to almost 2.3 million refugees. More than 4.7 million refugees, resided in countries whose GDP per capital was below USD $3,000.
The top five recipient countries accounted for more than half of all asylum claims (57%). With just over 83,000 applications the USA was the largest single recipient of new asylum claims followed by Germany, France, Sweden and the UK.
In 2012, Canada received 20,500 new asylum seekers, 19 per cent fewer than the previous year. Canada ranked no.7 among industrialized nations for receiving refugees.
Source: UNHCR, 2011 Global Trends, published June 2012