European Network Against Trafficking in Human Beings

New publication

The State of the World's Refugees 2006: Human Displacement in the New Millennium

Document number
1377
Date
2006
Title
The State of the World's Refugees 2006: Human Displacement in the New Millennium
Author/publisher
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), The UN Refugee Agency
Availability
View/save PDF version of this document
Document type(s)
Research/Study/Analysis,
Keywords
Human rights violation, Crime against humanity, War crime, Armed conflict, Post-conflict situation, Internally displaced persons (IDPs); The Asylum/Refugee Determination Process, Remaining in a Host Country/Country of Asylum, Family reunification, Integration, Adoption, Return, Civil society, NGO, Human Rights approach, Health, HIV/AIDS, Sexually transmitted diseases (STD),
Summary
The return of millions of people to recovering nations such as Afghanistan, Angola and Sierra Leone has contributed to a sharp global decline in the number of refugees and asylum seekers over the past five years, but the sustainability of some of those returns remains a concern, according to a new report today by the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. "The State of the World's Refugees: Human Displacement in the New Millennium," (Oxford University Press) was launched in London by High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and U.K. Secretary of State for International Development Hilary Benn. The book examines the changing dynamics of displacement over the past half decade. While the number of refugees – 9.2 million – is now the lowest in 25 years, it says the international system for dealing with human displacement has reached a critical juncture as it struggles with new challenges in an increasingly globalised world. These include the plight of tens of millions of internally displaced people; widespread confusion over migrants and refugees; tightened asylum policies and growing intolerance. The book also examines the plight of millions of refugees for whom no solutions are in sight. It says there are at least 33 such protracted refugee situations involving groups of at least 25,000 people who have been in exile for five years or more. Altogether, they accounted for 5.7 million of the world's 9.2 million refugees. "The majority of today's refugees have lived in exile for far too long, restricted to camps or eking out a meagre existence in urban centres throughout the developing world," the book says. "Most subsist in a state of limbo..." The number of international migrants has been estimated at more than 175 million, with asylum seekers and refugees comprising only a very small proportion, the book says. But the distinction between refugees, asylum seekers and migrants has been blurred and all are now seen in a negative light by some media and politicians. "In public opinion, there has been a blurring of illegal migration and security problems with asylum and refugee issues," Guterres said. "This demonstrates the importance of combating intolerance and challenging the notion that refugees and asylum seekers are the agents of insecurity, rather than its victims." The report can be found at: http://www.unhcr.org/static/publ/sowr2006/toceng.htm
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