The term “refugee crisis” has gotten more and more important the past few months. We are talking and discussing about it on a daily basis now. We are lacking solutions and are helplessly caught in a desperate situation. Still, everybody seems to know where the problem lies and who is to be sentenced guilty. In our opinion, though, the primary thing we are lacking currently are facts. To build yourself an opinion you first need to be informed properly. This blogpost is supposed to show you some numbers and statistics to give you an idea about the magnitude of the whole issue.
Talking about the “refugee crisis“, we first need to define the two terms the word is constructed of:
- Insecurity and instability characterize a “crisis”. The term is used to describe a political, social or economic development that will eventually result in a bigger change.
- A person fleeing from fatal threat or economic hardship is considered a refugee. If the refugee reaches a country able to guarantee for his shelter and security but still decides to continue his journey he loses his state of refugee and becomes migrant.
Now, “refugee crises” have always existed, we use to say. But the refugee movement of 2014, 2015 and presumably also 2016 haven’t been as serious since World War II.
In 2014, according to the UNHCR, 4% of the world population were fleeing from conflicts and persecution. 59.5 million refugees were globally registered. 19.5 million are searching for shelter outside their countries of origin. 53% of all refugees are from Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. 38.2 million refugees are internally displaced people, refugees fleeing inside their own country of origin.
In the whole issue oft he refugee crisis the countries taking up the most refugees tend to mostly be neglected. But those are not countries like Germany or Sweden but Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia and Jordan. Countries that are not dealing so well or should be considered stable states. Nearly all refugees worldwide (86%) are hosted by developing countries.
In 2014 on average 42’500 people per day became refugees. 51% of them are children. A lot of them are traveling alone with no parent or legal guardian. In 2014 a total of 34’300 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum in 82 different countries. This is the highest number since 10 years. In Switzerland nearly 7% of all asylum seekers are unaccompanied minors. Despite the special rights of children for shelter and security, the UMA often get overlooked and their individual needs are insufficiently perceived.
Two thirds of them are 16 or 17, not much younger than we are. Their situation is inconceivable for us and seems unreasonable. Therefore ,we feel the necessity to listen to them, write down their stories and get attention for them.