Special Calendar Dates
June 20 is World Refugee Day
*New* Refugees Welcome Toolkit (May 2016)
Of the eleven million refugees in the world today, seven million have been "warehoused," in camps or segregated settlements for 10 years or longer. In camps, refugees live in crowded conditions in some of the most remote and inhospitable living conditions. Refugees are not allowed to grow their own food. Nor are they allowed to earn an income for their labor. They survive on meager food rations and water that is trucked in or wells which are dug for them. Waiting in line for water is a major activity of the day. Tents and temporary structures become permanent homes. Safety is not assured. Refugee camps are not safe places to raise a family and yet many children are born there. While refugees wait for the opportunity to return home, locally integrate or be resettled, they stagnate, become dependent, lack stimulation, lose motivation and even hope resulting in a tremendous waste of human potential.
Refugee Facts (UNHCR)
There were 15.4 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2012, 10.5 million under the mandate of UNHCR, down slightly from the previous year.
The other 4.9 million Palestinian refugees are registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
During the year, conflict and persecution forced an average of 23,000 persons per day to leave their homes and seek protection elsewhere, either within the borders of their countries or in other countries.
Developing countries host over four fifths (80%) of the world’s refugees, compared to 70% ten years ago.
In 2012, the country hosting the largest number of refugees remained Pakistan, with 1.6 million refugees. Afghanistan retained the position as the biggest source country, a position it has held for 32 years. On average, one out of every four refugees worldwide is Afghan, with 95% located in Pakistan or Iran.
Last year, 46% of refugees were under 18 years old. This was in line with 2012 but higher than a few years ago. Refugee women and girls accounted for 48% of the refugee population.
An estimated 7.6 million people were newly displaced due to conflict or persecution, including 1.1 million new refugees- the highest number of new arrivals in one year since 1999.
For more information:
- Church World Service
- Disciples of Christ Refugee & Immigration Ministries
- United Church of Christ
- Global Ministries information on Refugees and Migration
- Refugees Welcome Campaign
- Interfaith Immigration Coalition
- World Refugee Day - UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency
Take Action! Urge Congress to Support Unaccompanied Children at the Border (June 20, 2014)
United Church of Christ Immigration Task Force response to crisis of unaccompanied minors from Central America
Global Ministries statement regarding immigration issues