For centuries, refugees have been an accepted part of human migration. Numerous geopolitical transitions have caused large refugee migrations. In the 20th century, wars have been the leading cause to create most “out-migration,” that is, people abandoning their own country to settle in another.
During the Russian Revolution of 1917, over 1.5 million people fled from the country, as they were opposed to communism. Similarly, between 1915 and 1923, Armenians had fled Turkey to avoid falling victims to persecution and genocide. It was in 1947, the world’s largest population transfer in history took place during partition of India. Muslims in India were transferred to the newly created Pakistan, and Hindus to the new boundaries of India. The 21st century has seen immense civil unrest, due to terrorism, strife, economic instability and political turmoil. Regions of Africa and the Middle East have been deeply affected, and millions of refugees from these strife-torn countries have left their homes in search of a safer environment.
According to World Bank data for year 2016, Syria had the largest population of refugee origin. Over 5.5 million people fled their homes to escape the political crisis prevailing in the country. The Syrian crisis has becoming a major problem for the world, as numerous governments are involved. The neighboring countries of Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are struggling to deal with the large number of refugee exoduses.
When refugees move to another country, that country is then called as the ‘host nation.’ Refugees can remain in these countries legally, until the situation in their own country recovers. However, quite often people prefer to stay in their ‘new’ country legally or illegally because the conditions are better than the country they abandoned. The United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) encourages hosts nations to provide quality assistance, but the host nations are often themselves struggling. It is one of the reasons why worldwide suffering can be diminished only with better help from developed countries.
Here is a list of countries and their population of refugee origin, according to World Bank stats of 2016:
|Country||Refugee population (2016)||Country||Refugee population (2016)|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||537,429||Kuwait||1,008|
|Central African Republic||490,869||St. Lucia||993|
|Cote d’Ivoire||46,741||Papua New Guinea||391|
|Senegal||23,019||Trinidad and Tobago||295|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||18,179||Guyana||269|
|Republic of the Congo||13,231||Latvia||165|
|Albania||11,050||United Arab Emirates||103|
|Azerbaijan||10,087||Antigua and Barbuda||77|
|Cuba||5,925||St. Kitts and Nevis||44|
|Peru||2,589||Sao Tome and Principe||26|
|Jordan||1,889||Turks and Caicos Islands||14|
|St. Vincent and the Grenadines||1,330|