Who is a refugee?
The United Nations defines refugees as people fleeing conflict or persecution. They are granted refugee status by the country they enter, which grants them protection under international law and makes them eligible for aid. People who are displaced from their homes but remain in their country are not considered refugees.
How many refugees are there worldwide?
As of mid-2017, 65.6 million people have been displaced. Of that number, 22.5 million fled to other countries. More than half of them are under 18 years old, the highest number of child refugees since World War II. In 2016, 75,000 children applied for asylum as "unaccompanied minors." Most were from Afghanistan and Syria.
As of March 22, 2018, the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has registered 5.6 million refugees. UNHCR estimates nearly one in 100 people worldwide have been pushed out of their countries due to war or political instability.
Where are they from?
Syria, which has been ravaged by conflict for seven years, has created the highest number of refugees. An estimated 660,000 Syrians fled the country in 2017, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees to 5.6 million. Most have settled in neighboring countries. An additional 6.6 million have been displaced within Syria.
The conflict in Afghanistan has resulted in 2.5 million refugees.
The young country of South Sudan accounted for 1.4 million refugees.
Religious and ethnic conflict has sent 1.1 million fleeing from Myanmar.
Source: Voice of America