According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, about 110 million individuals have been forced from their homes due to violence, persecution, or breaches of human rights. The war in Sudan, has forced out roughly 2 million people since April, and is just the most recent in a long line of disasters, that has contributed to this startling quantity.
“It’s quite an indictment on the state of our world,” UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi said in a press briefing in Geneva ahead of the release of the UNHCR’s Global Trends Report for 2022.
Also, an extra 19 million people were forcefully driven out last year, including over 11 million who left Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which became the quickest and greatest migration of people since World War II.
“We are constantly confronted with emergencies,” Grandi said. The organization documented 35 incidents last year, up to four times higher than in years past. “Very few make your headlines,” Grandi remarked, claiming that, after Western nationals were evacuated from Sudan, the conflict wasn’t given much attention in most front pages of the media.
Additionally, conflicts in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, and Myanmar also displaced over one million individuals in each nation in 2022. Nearly all of the world’s dislocated people have sought sanctuary within their own borders.
Based on the UNHCR study, one-third of them, thus, over 35 million people migrated to neighboring countries, declaring them refugees. According to Grandi, the majority of refugees are sponsored by low-to middle-income nations in Asia and Africa, rather than wealthier nations in Europe or North America.
However, Turkey presently shelters the most refugees, largely Syrians fleeing the civil war, followed by Iran, which has over 3.4 million Afghan refugees. However, there are 5.7 million Ukrainian refugees spread across Europe and beyond. According to UNHCR figures, the number of persons without a country of residence, increased to 4.4 million in 2022, but this has been thought to be inaccurate.
In terms of asylum claims, the United States received the most new applications in 2022, with over 730,400 applicants. It is also the country with the longest congestion in its asylum system, according to Grandi. “One of the things that needs to be done is reforming that asylum system so that it becomes more rapid, more efficient,” he said.
The United States, Spain, and Canada recently announced intentions to establish asylum assessment centers in the Americas, with the aim to reduce the quantity of migrants crossing the border from Mexico to the United States. As the volume of asylum seekers increases, so do the obstacles they face.
“We see pushbacks. We see tougher and tougher Immigration and refugee admission Rules. We see in many countries the criminalization of immigrants and refugees, blaming them for everything that has happened.”Filippo Grandi, UNHCR chief
In an effort to reduce migration across the Mediterranean, European leaders extended their financial commitments to North African countries this week. However, the British government continue to support a failed proposal to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, which UNHCR opposes.
However, there were some victories, according to Grandi, who cited a hopeful sign in the European Union’s discussions for a new migration and asylum deal, despite criticism from human rights groups.
Grandi also noted that, the number of refugees relocated in 2022 have more than doubled from the previous year, to 114,000. However, he acknowledged that, this was “still a drop in the ocean.”