refugees (6do encyclopedia)

Refugees are individuals who have been forced to flee their home country due to conflict, persecution, or other forms of violence. These individuals often face significant challenges in seeking refuge, including finding a safe destination, securing proper documentation, and regaining their livelihoods.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) defines a refugee as someone who has been forced to flee their country due to a well-founded fear of persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. This definition is important because it provides legal protection for those seeking asylum in foreign countries.

According to the UNHCR, there were 29.6 million refugees worldwide at the end of 2019. This number has been steadily increasing in recent years due to ongoing conflicts in regions such as the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The largest group of refugees are from Syria, with 6.6 million displaced individuals, followed by Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.

Refugees face a number of challenges when seeking safety and resettlement in a new country. Many refugees are unable to secure proper documentation, making it difficult to enter other countries legally. They may also be denied visas due to strict immigration policies in some countries. Additionally, many refugees do not have access to essential resources such as food, water, and medical care.

In some cases, refugees are forced to settle in informal camps or other temporary living arrangements with limited access to basic necessities. These living conditions can be dangerous, as they often lack adequate sanitation facilities and can be susceptible to outbreaks of disease.

In addition to these challenges, refugees must also deal with the trauma and emotional distress that often accompanies being displaced from one’s home country. Many refugees have experienced violence, torture, or other forms of trauma that can have long-lasting effects on their mental health.

Despite these many challenges, refugees have also been a source of strength and resilience for their new communities. Many refugees have gone on to make significant contributions to their new countries, including starting successful businesses, contributing to local economies, and enriching cultural diversity.

Governments and organizations around the world have developed a number of programs and initiatives designed to support refugees. These initiatives may include providing basic necessities such as food and shelter, offering mental health services, and providing refugee status or resettlement programs. The UNHCR also works to provide legal protection for refugees and to advocate for their rights.

Overall, the issue of refugees remains an important global concern, with millions of individuals continuing to struggle to find safety and support in foreign countries. However, with increased awareness and support, there is hope that refugees can find safety and a brighter future.

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Former Winnipeg cab driver is a political adviser to a general in Sudan's deadly conflict


23-05-15 10:00

Yousif Ibrahim Ismaeil, 49, has caused concern in Winnipeg's Sudanese community after telling CBC he is serving as a political adviser to General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo in the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), amid the deadly feud for power in Sudan. Ismaeil, an ex-taxi driver and Canadian citizen who studied in Manitoba, says he is in Sudan because of his beliefs in justice, democracy, and long-standing friendships with the leaders within the RSF. The move has left members of the Sudanese community in Canada questioning Ismaeil's involvement with one of the warring factions in the month-long conflict, which has left hundreds dead, injured and displaced.
What is the Palestinian Nakba and why does it matter?

Deutsche Welle

23-05-15 05:22

May 15 marks al-Nakba Day, meaning “catastrophe” or “disaster” in Arabic, which commemorates the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and the expulsion of around 700k Palestinians from their homes in what is now Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Palestinians demonstrate on this day to protest against their displacement and many carry the symbols of keys, which show their hope of returning home and their right to return. Until WWI, Palestine was under Turkish rule as part of the Ottoman Empire. It then fell under British control and after the experience of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, a United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was adopted by the UN General Assembly. The Arab League rejected the plan but the Jewish Agency for Palestine accepted it and on May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed. Before the war, between 200k and 300k Palestinians had already left or were forced out and during the conflict, a further 300k to 400k were displaced.
Palestinians reflect on the Nakba: 'It's part of our lives'

Deutsche Welle

23-05-15 05:20

Four Palestinians have shared their experiences of the Nakba with US publication, Bustle. The Nakba refers to the displacement of around 700,000 Palestinians following Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948. Haya Sinwar, Faizeh Afifi, Adi Mansour and Sophie Mukarker discuss how their lives have been affected by the events of 1948. They all seek greater rights and better living conditions for Palestinians. Adi Mansour, a human rights lawyer and activist, described the Nakba as an “ongoing reality”. The issue of Palestinian refugees and the “right of return” is a key subject of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Dublin migrant camp set on fire after violent protests


23-05-14 17:10

Anti-immigration protesters in Dublin set fire to tents that were providing shelter for homeless refugees. Around 10 refugees were using the makeshift camp while waiting for accommodation when it began to attract supporters of far-right group Síol na hÉireann. A small number of men were subsequently filmed dismantling and burning some of the tents. The site was visited by several politicians, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who condemned the violence. The Irish government abandoned plans to provide accommodation to adult asylum seekers in January due to a shortage. At present, some 600 recent arrivals are without state accommodation.
Sudanese Montrealers fear for loved ones as fighting rages in home country


23-05-13 17:21

Fighting between Sudanese army forces and paramilitary groups has intensified into a humanitarian crisis, resulting in thousands fleeing the country. As hundreds of people have been killed, disputes have arisen between the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces. People attempting to flee are finding crossings particularly difficult as blockages occur in bordering countries that require the support of the United Nations and neighbouring governments to remove restrictions. Urging for aid from Canada to assist in evacuating vulnerable citizens, Iman Bahaeldin Ahmed, a Canadian permanent resident, hopes the Sudan people can receive the same support as Ukrainians.
Numbers reveal how the new Canada-U.S. border deal is affecting irregular migration

The Toronto Star

23-05-15 23:30

Since the new Safe Third Country Agreement came into force, illegal migration into Canada from the US has dropped significantly, according to the Canada Border Services Agency. In the 48 days between 25 March and 11 May, the surveillance connected to the deal resulted in just 546 cases of individuals crossing designated ports of entry – 300 of whom were intercepted by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. This is a steep decrease from January, which saw 4,994 irregular migrants arriving in Canada, and February, which saw 4,581 entering illegally.
Pales­tine’s Ab­bas calls on UN to ‘sus­pend’ Is­rael as Nak­ba marked

Al Jazeera

23-05-16 04:54

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the United Nations (UN) to suspend Israel’s membership of the international organisation unless it ends its conflict with Palestine, and recognises UN resolutions defining the two state’s borders and calling for the return of refugees from Palestine. Speaking at the first official UN commemoration of the Palestinian exodus from Israel in 1948, he argued that Israel had failed to comply with previous UN resolutions regarding its conflict with Palestine, and had never fulfilled its obligations to the body. Over 760,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes when Israel was created.
Canada urged to track unaccompanied minors arriving from Ukraine


23-05-16 08:00

The Child Welfare Immigration Centre of Excellence (CWICE), which was commissioned by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), has suggested Canada establishes a central registry to track the plight of unaccompanied minors fleeing the war in Ukraine. CWICE has discovered that officials are not keeping track of the minors and the responsibility for their welfare is being left to a variety of volunteer and resettlement agencies. More than one million Ukrainians have already applied to live and work in Canada under the Canada-Ukraine authorization for emergency travel (CUAET) program, and nearly 700,000 have been approved.
Shortlisted Donner Prize authors on who they would most like to read their book

The Globe and Mail

23-05-16 11:00

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Donner Prize, which recognises books by Canadian authors on public policy, the grand prize has increased by CAD 10,000 ($7,948) to CAD 60,000. The five shortlisted authors were each asked by The Globe and Mail which person in a position to influence public policy they would most like to read their book. The prize will be presented at a gala dinner in Toronto.
Brazil sends thousands of Venezuelan migrants to country’s rich southern states

The Toronto Star

23-05-16 16:12

Brazil's "interiorization" program, which offers eligible applicants work permits and free flights to other parts of the country, has seen a surge in approvals in the post-pandemic period as Venezuelans desperate to leave their own country head to Brazil. The program eases pressure on Roraima, Brazil's far northern state, as it deals with the influx of Venezuelan migrants, and has relocated about 100,000 out of the 426,000 Venezuelans who have migrated to Brazil in the past decade. The Gonzalez family has just embarked on their migration journey to join other relatives working in construction in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná.
'My heart is so much hurting': Kenyan father facing deportation pleads to stay


23-05-17 09:00

David Kipkoech Keter is facing deportation from Canada, despite claiming refugee status on the grounds of being gender non-conforming. Keter arrived in Canada as a visitor in 2016 and claims that persecution would await him if he were to return to Kenya, which Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada denies. Keter has complied with all the demands of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) but is still facing deportation on 9 June, despite a humanitarian and compassionate claim and a pre-removal risk assessment application being denied. Keter's wife has applied for spousal sponsorship of his permanent residency but has yet to receive a response. His predicament highlights one of the main challenges facing people fleeing persecution based on their gender identity, sexual orientation, or gender expression; they may not have sufficient evidence to support their claims.
More than 100 refugees were offered health-care jobs in Nova Scotia. Only 17 have arrived


23-05-17 08:00

Healthcare providers in Nova Scotia are struggling to fill vacancies as part of a landmark government scheme that aims to resettle skilled refugees as part of the Economic Mobility Pathways Pilot. The scheme intends to help fill roles in everything from nursing homes and hospitals to tech firms and farms across the country possessing a labour shortage. Health-care workers made up 29% of all applicants to the pathway since its launch in 2020. In Nova Scotia, employers have made 121 job offers under the programme, the largest number of any province, but just 17 of the people recruited have actually arrived.
UN seeks nearly $2.6 bln for humanitarian needs in Sudan


23-05-17 07:35

The UN is seeking $2.56bn to help people affected by the Sudan crisis, with as much as $472m of it to be spent over the next six months to help more than one million people flee into neighbouring countries. The conflict has caused a humanitarian crisis that threatens to destabilise the region, with more refugees being displaced than at any other time in Sudan’s history.
Ukrainian refugees living in EU ‘forced to travel back for abortions’

The Independent

23-05-18 08:56

According to a study by the Center for Reproductive Rights and 8 human rights organisations, Ukrainian women who fled to EU countries are returning to their native country in order to get access to sexual and reproductive healthcare. Poland, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, the EU nations in which most Ukrainian refugees reside, have various legal restrictions and cost barriers when attempting to access healthcare in relation to family planning and abortion. Fearing exposure of their illegal refugees status, and being subjected to poor treatment and legal restrictions, Ukrainian women are putting themselves in danger travelling back to their native land.
Defence minister urged to ‘get the facts rights’ on Afghan scheme

The Independent

23-05-18 08:53

UK defence minister James Heappey has been accused of giving misinformation regarding the number of Afghan nationals applying to relocate to the UK. Heappey said that “hundreds of thousands” of applications had been made for relocation under the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy (Arap) refugee scheme. However, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) told The Independent that only 138,000 applications to the Arap scheme had been received, with 12,200 of these already approved and moved to the UK. Furthermore, the MoD suggested that the eligibility criteria for the scheme are narrower than is publicised, with only individuals specifically employed by the British forces or who held a role that materially contributed to a UK mission in Afghanistan being accepted. The Independent has launched a campaign to support Afghan air force veteran Nangialay Zakiwid, who is at risk of deportation to Rwanda.
Is Rohingya Repatriation Finally Moving Forward?


23-05-18 12:39

A delegation of Rohingya Muslims and Bangladeshi government officials have visited Myanmar's Rakhine state in an attempt to push for the voluntary return of Rohingya refugees. The move comes after attempts to repatriate Rohingya in 2018 and 2019 failed, and as the Myanmar military steps up efforts to appease the international community in its ongoing genocide case. About one million Rohingya people live in camps in Cox's Bazar, having fled a military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017. The current effort to repatriate 1,100 refugees is being viewed as a "confidence-building measure". It is believed to be the first time Rohingya refugees have visited Rakhine to investigate the situation, with the government attempting to create a "conducive atmosphere" for a wider repatriation. Several countries are said to be involved in supporting the initiative but some observers believe there is a risk that Myanmar's government will only repatriate a few refugees in an attempt to placate the international community ahead of a key international court hearing in August 2023.
Turkish candidate Kilicdaroglu hardens stance before runoff against Erdogan

The Independent

23-05-18 11:58

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the main challenger in Turkey's presidential race, has taken a more hard-line stance against migrants and Kurdish militants, ahead of his upcoming run-off election with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The candidate has vowed to send back millions of refugees if elected, and has rejected the possibility of peace talks with Kurdish militants, amid rising anti-migrant sentiment and criticism of the government's response to natural disasters. Erdogan won 49.5% of the vote in the first round, while Kilicdaroglu won 44.9%.
Erdogan rival pledges to send migrants back in lurch to right ahead of run-off


23-05-18 18:02

Opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who faces incumbent President Recep Erdogan in a second round of voting on 24 June, has pledged to deport all refugees from Turkey. In addition, the left-wing politician has attempted to reject the support of pro-Kurdish groups. Experts have suggested that Kilicdaroglu will need to broaden his support from moderate Islamists and right-wingers in order to oust Erdogan from power after his two-decade presidency.
Your Friday Briefing: Dueling Summits

NY Times

23-05-18 21:04

China is trying to counter a US-dominated world order by hosting an inaugural summit with leaders of five former Soviet republics such as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The high-profile event, which began on Thursday in Beijing, is taking place as G7 leaders, whose meeting also starts on Friday, are expected to address what the US sees as China’s growing assertiveness. China sees economic prosperity in Central Asia as a way of further stabilising its region of Xinjiang, which shares a border with Central Asian countries and is a source of concern. Series of attacks in the region have left at least a thousand people dead in recent years, which China blames on Islamic extremists and separatists. Experts say that by hosting the summit, China is also trying to fill some of the void left by Russia in Central Asia with Moscow's influence having weakened due to the war in Ukraine.