2017 was a historic year in the global refugee crisis; By the end of last year, the world had 68.5 million men, women and children driven out of their homes. It is more than the population of Thailand.
The number of refugees fleeing conflict and persecution rise to 25.4 million last year, which is 2.9 million more than in the previous year and more than ever before, according to the UNHCR’s harsh statistics.
The biggest crises in the world were the crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the war in southern Sudan and the persecution of the state of Myanmar by the distress of the Rohingya refugees. Many of those who have left from home have had to walk days without proper food or water.
Many homes have also been destroyed and family members lost or killed, like the 55-year-old grandmother Mutaybatun. Mutaybatu, a Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar, whose flight followed years of persecution, culminating in the murder of her husband. She emphasizes her desire to return home from a refugee camp in Bangladesh and live in peace without a constant threat of violence.
“We are at a watershed, where success in managing forced displacement globally requires a new and far more comprehensive approach so that countries and communities aren’t left dealing with this alone,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said.
UNHCR’s Global Trends report is published worldwide each year ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, and tracks forced displacement based on data gathered by UNHCR, governments, and other partners.
However, Grandi found hope in a new blueprint for responding to refugee situations, pioneered by 14 countries. A new Global Compact on Refugees, seeking closer international cooperation in response to refugee crises, will be ready for adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in a matter of months.
“Today, on the eve of World Refugee Day, my message to member states is please support this,” he said. “No one becomes a refugee by choice; but the rest of us can have a choice about how we help.”