Essential data, facts and figures from reports, policies, schemes and important documents for UPSC-CSE.
Global Trends Report 2021
Preliminary Examination: Current events of national and international importance.
Mains Examination: General Studies II- International Relations-Effect of policies and politics of developed and developing countries on India’s interests.
(Relevance: UN Reports form high probable questions for prelims- basic and advanced questions. Very essential for mains- direct or for supporting arguments. Moreover, the refugee crisis has always been a burning topic. Only the most relevant facts should be noted down. Trends and analysis are more important to remember.)
Why in news?
— The 2022 annual Global Trends Report was published by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). June 20 is designated as World Refugee Day by the UN. The theme for World Refugee Day 2022 is whoever, whatever, whenever. Everyone has got a right to seek safety.
Who is a refugee?
—A refugee is someone who fled his or her home and country owing to “a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion”, according to the United Nations 1951 Refugee Convention.
What is Global Trends Report?
— UNHCR’s Global Trends Report presents key statistical trends and the latest numbers of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced and stateless persons worldwide as well as numbers of people who have returned to their countries or areas of origin. The report is published once a year and reflects on the previous year. The figures are based on data reported by governments, non-governmental organizations and UNHCR.
What are the major findings of this year’s report?
— On Earth, 1 in every 78 people is now displaced.
— There were 23.7 million new internal displacements worldwide, due to disasters. It is a decrease of 23 percent as compared to the last year.
— The largest displacement occurred in China in 2021 (6 million), the Philippines (5.7 million), and India (4.9 million).
— 5.9 million people across the world remained displaced at the end of 2021 due to disasters. Nevertheless, the majority of internally displaced persons returned to their home areas.
—The number of people who were forced to flee their homes has increased in the past decade. It stands at the highest level since records started. By the end of May 2022, more than 100 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide. The reasons cited are violence, war in Ukraine, food insecurity, human rights abuses, climate crisis, and other emergencies from Africa to Afghanistan.
— By 2021 end, the number of people displaced by war, persecution, violence, and human rights abuses was 89.3 million. This has increased by 8% and has doubled as compared to the figure 10 years ago.
— The UNHCR report, however, notes that the impact of climate change on displacement is not uniform.
— Importantly, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused the fastest and largest forced displacement crises after World War II from Africa to Afghanistan and beyond.
— In India’s case, the report points out that around five million people were internally displaced. The reason cited is due to disasters and climate change in 2021.
— Low and middle-income countries hosted 83% of the world’s refugees. Turkey hosted nearly 3.8 million refugees, the largest population worldwide.
— The number of new individual asylum applications registered globally in 2021 increased by 25% to 1.4 million from 1.1 million. Important to note that it is less than pre-pandemic levels. Also, Unaccompanied or separated children (UASC) accounted for two percent of new asylum claims. The U.S. was the most popular choice among refugees to seek asylum, followed by Germany, Mexico, Costa Rica, and France.
What is United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)?
—UNHCR, a United Nations agency is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. The body assist them in their voluntary repatriation, resettlement or local integration. Headquarter of UNHCR is in Geneva, Switzerland.
—The 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol are the key legal documents that form the basis of UNHCR. The 1951 convention finds its roots in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948. It states that everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy asylum from persecution in other countries .
—Established in 1954, the UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award honours individuals, groups and organizations who go above and beyond the call of duty to protect refugees, as well as displaced and stateless people.
—Laureate of UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award for 2021 was the Jeel Albena Association for Humanitarian Development (JAAHD), a humanitarian organization providing emergency services to internally displaced people in northern Yemen.
Point to ponder: What have been the major reasons which have pushed more people out of their homes as refugees? What is India’s policy for refugees?