World Refugee Day this year marks a distressing milestone: the number of people around the world who have been forcibly displaced due to violence, persecution and human rights violations has risen to 82.4 million, according the the UNHCR’s 2021 Global Trends report.
In 2018, as the World Refugee & Migration Council prepared our report A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System, that number was 68.5 million. The problem has clearly become significantly worse, and the UN Refugee Agency has called on the world’s leaders to reverse this “trend of soaring displacement.”
“The report shows that by the end of 2020 there were 20.7 million refugees under UNHCR mandate, 5.7 million Palestine refugees and 3.9 million Venezuelans displaced abroad,” noted UNHCR. “Another 48 million people were internally displaced (IDPs) within their own countries. A further 4.1 million were asylum-seekers. These numbers indicate that despite the pandemic and calls for a global ceasefire, conflict continued to chase people from their homes.”
The concrete solutions we proposed in A Call to Action are needed now more than ever.
“As troubling as matters were such a short time ago, the situation has since gone from critical to catastrophic. The plight of the forcibly displaced has become intolerable,” we noted in our recent assessment. “A faltering response that was flawed and failing has now utterly collapsed. What the Council once described as an effort to repair and transform the system must now be seen as the need to rebuild it.”
Learn more about the Council’s efforts to reset the global response to forced displacement:
- Read the Council’s A Call to Action: Transforming the Global Refugee System and write us to get involved in our current initiatives, including global action networks for the forcibly displaced.
- Find out more about our newly launched North and Central American Task Force on Migration to develop a comprehensive, regional response to assist asylum seekers and migrants and address the root causes impelling people to flee their homes.
- Read our panel discussion report on ensuring vaccine equity for the forcibly displaced.