14 Million New Refugees in 2007 and Refugees United

9 11 2008

BloggersUnite, bloggers who blog for hope, has chosen November 10 to write about Refugees United, the “only online, highly secure and anonymous possibility of refugees to reconnect with family.” 

Leading up to November 4, I have primarily focused this blog on the presidential election. Now I am expanding to include musings on social concerns, activism, and ideologies. I have joined BloggersUnite and this is a good place to start.

In doing some research on refugees, I am startled to learn that, according to the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI), “…in 2007, more than 14 million people worldwide fled their homes because of war and persecution.” This is a staggering number. Almost equally startling is the USCRI’s “…ten worst violators of the international principles of providing refuge as outlined by the U.N. Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.” Here’s the list:

  1. Bangladesh: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 177,600
  2. China: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 323,600
  3. Europe: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 252,000
  4. India: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 420,400
  5. Iraq: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 44,800
  6. Kenya: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 319,400
  7. Malaysia: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 155,700
  8. Russia: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 159,500
  9. Sudan: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 310, 500
  10. Thailand: Number of refugees and asylum seekers: 406,000

Refugees settling in these countries often face overcrowded camps, rape, torture, domestic violence, being sold into slavery, caning, detention against their will, and being returned to their native countries with the possibility of execution.

Also disturbing are these number of new refugees for 2008:

  1. Iraq: 561,100
  2. Somalia: 71,700
  3. Central African Republic: 25,300
  4. Zimbabwe: 22,200
  5. Chad: 20,000
  6. Eritrea: 15,600
  7. Congo-Kinshasa: 11,700

The Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children reports these unsettling and disturbing facts:

  • Four out of five of the world’s 35 million refugees are women, children and young people.
  • Children and young people make up approximately 50 percent of all refugees.
    Women and adolescent girls in refugee settings are especially vulnerable to exploitation, rape and abuse.
  • Children and young people often miss out on years of education. They are the targets of abuse, military recruitment and abduction.
  • Women, children and young people who flee persecution and human rights abuses by seeking asylum in the U.S. are often imprisoned, subjected to inhumane conditions and denied access to legal representation.
  • There are many organizations trying to help refugees. The Administration for Children & Families division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has an Office of Refugee Resettlement. This is its mission: “Founded on the belief that newly arriving populations have inherent capabilities when given opportunities, the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides people in need with critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society.” Its many programs include: Anti-Trafficking in Persons, Cuban Haitian, Ethnic Community Self-Help, Microenterprise Development, Repatriation, Services for Survivors of Torture, and Unaccompanied Refugee Minors. Check the website for the complete list.

    It is really easy to stay cocooned in the comfort of our own homes and forget or block out the fact that there are millions of mostly women and children all over the world who have been forced from their homes and are living in horrendous circumstances due to war and persecution. The USCRI lists the top 20 countries that donate to the cause of refugees in a contribution per capita in U.S. dollars. Tops on that list is Luxembourg, whose citizens give on average $28.64. The U.S. is 15th on the list; we give, on average $2.16.

    Consider reading more about the plight of refugees and giving to help their plight. Thanks for reading.

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    7 responses

    9 11 2008
    Jackie

    Hello TXgal,I found you at Bloggers UniteThis Bloggers Unite has beed a real eye opener for me. It flashes much too quickly across the evening news. Seeing the statistics and reading the stories makes me stop to think. Thanks for posting.

    10 11 2008
    Marlive, thegrits.com

    Thank you for the great data; excellent post!

    10 11 2008
    MadMadMargo

    The numbers are staggering.

    10 11 2008
    Midwest Mom

    Thank you so much for posting on such an important topic. As a mother with children of my own, I found the numbers really spoke to me. This problem is enormous, but if good people act in small ways, much can be done.

    10 11 2008
    Rocque

    This is a great post! Thanks for all you shared. It is exciting to be a part of Bloggers Unite with you. You have a great blog.

    10 11 2008
    czecho

    Thanks for all the data you collected, it really is surprising. Hopefully all our blogs will prompt a worldwide movement to help get to the root cause that leads to so many people being displaced from their homes. To help stop this we must help stop wars around the world in whatever way we can.

    12 11 2008
    Hicham

    Numbers are scary however the problem is that they are people not merly numbers! Thanks a lot for your excellent post as rasing the awareness is the very simple task an indiviual can do to participate.

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