Refuge in the World

 
 

Mongólia

Mongólia

  • Refugees in Mongolia
  • 4 refugees in the country
  • 3 increase since 2011
  • Mongolia Refugees
  • 2,121 refugees around the world
  • 136 increase since 2011

Níger

Níger

  • Refugees in Niger
  • 50,510 refugees in the country
  • 50,208 increase since 2011
  • Niger refugees
  • 842 refugees around the world
  • 23 increase since 2011

Paquistão

Paquistão

  • Refugees in Pakistan
  • 1,638,456 refugees in the country
  • 64,244 decline since 2011
  • Pakistan Refugees
  • 49,736 refugees around the world
  • 13,784 increase since 2011

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

  • Refugees in Afghanistan
  • 16,187 refugees in the country
  • 13,178 increase since 2011
  • Refugees in Afghanistan
  • 2,585,605 refugees around the world
  • 78,831 decline since 2011

Irã

Irã

  • Refugees in Iran
  • 868,242 refugees in the country
  • 18,226 decline since 2011
  • Iranian Refugees
  • 75,615 refugees around the world
  • 31 increase since 2011

Austria

Austria

  • Refugees in Austria
  • 51,730 refugees in the country
  • 4,657 decline since 2011
  • Refugees from Austria
  • 12 refugees around the world
  • 1 increase since 2011

Eslováquia

Eslováquia

  • Refugees in Slovakia
  • 662 refugees in the country
  • 116 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Russia
  • 247 refugees around the world
  • 22 increase since 2011

Hungria

Hungria

  • Refugees in Hungary
  • 4,054 refugees in the country
  • 1,052 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Hungary
  • 1,089 refugees around the world
  • 149 increase since 2011

Eslovênia

Eslovênia

  • Refugees in Slovenia
  • 176 refugees in the country
  • 34 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Slovenia
  • 34 refugees around the world
  • 2 increase since 2011

Belgium

Belgium

  • Refugees in Belgium
  • 22,024 refugees in the country
  • 378 decline since 2011
  • Refugees from in Belgium
  • 93 refugees around the world
  • 3 increase since 2011

Holanda

Holanda

  • Refugees in the Netherlands
  • 74,598 refugees in the country
  • no changes since 2011
  • Refugees in the Netherlands
  • 67 refugees around the world
  • 3 increase since 2011

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • Refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 6,903 refugees in the country
  • 30 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • 51,939 refugees around the world
  • 6,639 increase since 2011

Germany

Germany

  • Refugees in Germany
  • 589,737 refugees in the country
  • 18,053 decline since 2011
  • Refugees from Germany
  • 182 refugees around the world
  • 8 Increase since 2011

Croácia

Croácia

  • Refugees in Croatia
  • 724 refugees in the country
  • 100 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Croatia
  • 62,613 refugees around the world
  • 36 increase since 2011

Dinamarca

Dinamarca

  • Refugees in Denmark
  • 11,402 refugees in the country
  • 1,997 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Denmark
  • 9 refugees around the world
  • no changes since 2011

Estônia

Estônia

  • Refugees in Estonia
  • 63 refugees in the country
  • 13 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Estonia
  • 456 refugees around the world
  • 232 increase since 2011

Montenegro

Montenegro

  • Refugees in Montenegro
  • 11,198 refugees in the country
  • 1,676 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Montenegro
  • 4,054 refugees around the world
  • 356 increase since 2011

Látvia

Látvia

  • Refugees in Latvia
  • 125 refugees in the country
  • 30 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Latvia
  • 662 refugees around the world
  • 47 increase since 2011

Albania

Albania

  • Refugees in Albania
  • 86 refugees in the country
  • 4 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Albania
  • 12,573 refugees around the world
  • 978 increase since 2011

Macedônia

Macedônia

  • Refugiados na Macedônia
  • 1,077 refugiados no país
  • 53 declínio desde 2011
  • Refugiados na Macedônia
  • 7,591 refugiados pelo mundo
  • 93 aumento desde 2011

Macedônia

Macedônia

  • Refugees in Macedonia
  • 1,077 refugees in the country
  • 53 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Macedonia
  • 7,591 refugees around the world
  • 93 increase since 2011

Lituânia

Lituânia

  • Refugiados na Lituânia
  • 871 refugiados no país
  • 50 declínio desde 2011
  • Refugiados na Lituânia
  • 491 refugiados pelo mundo
  • 37 aumento desde 2011

Lituânia

Lituânia

  • Refugees in Lithuania
  • 871 refugees in the country
  • 50 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Lithuania
  • 491 refugees around the world
  • 37 increase since 2011

Belarus

Belarus

  • Refugees in Belarus
  • 576 refugees in the country
  • 19 decline since 2011
  • Refugees from in Belarus
  • 6,194 refugees around the world
  • 269 increase since 2011

Irlanda

Irlanda

  • Refugees in Ireland
  • 6,327 refugees in the country
  • 1,921 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Ireland
  • 9 refugees around the world
  • 1 increase since 2011

Bulgária

Bulgária

  • Refugees in Bulgaria
  • 2,288 refugees in the country
  • 3,400 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Bulgaria
  • 2,147 refugees around the world
  • 180 increase since 2011

Espanha

Espanha

  • Refugees in Spain
  • 4,510 refugees in the country
  • 282 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Spain
  • 52 refugees around the world
  • 9 increase since 2011

França

França

  • Refugees in France
  • 217,865 refugees in the country
  • 7,658 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in France
  • 100 refugees around the world
  • 1 increase since 2011

Itália

Itália

  • Refugees in Italy
  • 64,779 refugees in the country
  • 6,719 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Italy
  • 66 refugees around the world
  • 8 increase since 2011

Grécia

Grécia

  • Refugees in Greece
  • 2,100 refugees in the country
  • 527 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Greece
  • 51 refugees around the world
  • 5 increase since 2011

Chipre

Chipre

  • Refugees in Cyprus
  • 3,631 refugees in the country
  • 128 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Cyprus
  • 11 refugees around the world
  • no changes since 2011

Noruega

Noruega

  • Flyktninger i Norge
  • 4822 flyktninger i landet
  • 2131 nedgangen siden 2011
  • Flyktninger i Norge
  • 8 flyktninger over hele verden
  • 1 økningen siden 2011

Finlândia

Finlândia

  • Refugees in Finland
  • 9,919 refugees in the country
  • 744 decline since 2011
  • Refugees in Finland
  • 7 refugees around the world
  • no changes since 2011

Guiné

Guiné

  • Refugees in Guinea
  • 10,371 refugees in the country
  • 6,238 decline since 2011
  • Guinea Refugees
  • 14,206 refugees around the world
  • 1,045 increase since 2011

Costa do Marfim

Costa do Marfim

  • Refugees in Côte d'Ivoire
  • 3,980 refugees in the country
  • 20,241 decline since 2011
  • Ivory Coast refugees
  • 100,689 refugees around the world
  • 54,135 decline since 2011

Gana

Gana

  • Refugees in Ghana
  • 16,016 refugees in the country
  • 2,428 increase since 2011
  • Ghana Refugees
  • 24,299 refugees around the world
  • 3,938 increase since 2011

Australia

Australia

  • Refugees in Australia
  • 30,083 refugees in the country
  • 6,649 increase since 2011
  • Refugees from Australia
  • 48 refugiados pelo mundo
  • 9 increase since 2011

Cazaquistão

Cazaquistão

  • Refugees in Kazakhstan
  • 564 refugees in the country
  • 52 decline since 2011
  • Kazakhstan refugees
  • 3,582 refugees around the world
  • 82 increase since 2011

China

China

  • Refugees in China
  • 301,037 refugees in the country
  • 19 increase since 2011
  • China Refugees
  • 193,337 refugees around the world
  • 2,968 increase since 2011

Índia

Índia

  • Refugees in India
  • 186,656 refugees in the country
  • 538 increase since 2011
  • Refugees of India
  • 14,258 refugees around the world
  • 1,974 decline since 2011

Mauritânia

Mauritânia

  • Refugees in Mauritania
  • 80,496 refugees in the country
  • 53,961 increase since 2011
  • Mauritania Refugees
  • 33,774 refugees around the world
  • 6,155 decline since 2011

Marrocos

Marrocos

  • Refugees in Morocco
  • 744 refugees in the country
  • 8 increase since 2011
  • Morocco Refugees
  • 2,407 refugees around the world
  • 95 increase since 2011

Mali

Mali

  • Refugees in Mali
  • 13,928 refugees in the country
  • 1,696 decline since 2011
  • Mali Refugees
  • 149,943 refugees around the world
  • 145,648 increase since 2011

Etiópia

Etiópia

  • Refugees in Ethiopia
  • 376,393 refugees in the country
  • 87,549 increase since 2011
  • Ethiopian Refugees
  • 74,969 refugees around the world
  • 4,359 increase since 2011

Angola

Angola

  • Refugees in Angola
  • 23,413 refugees in the country
  • 7,190 Increase since 2011
  • Refugees from Angola
  • 20,182 refugees around the world
  • 108,482 decline since 2011

Namíbia

Namíbia

  • Namibian Refugees
  • 1,806 refugees in the country
  • 4,243 decline since 2011
  • Namibian Refugees
  • 1,098 refugees around the world
  • 25 increase since 2011

South Africa

South Africa

  • Refugees in South Africa
  • Without refugee data in the country
  • No data since 1985
  • Refugees from South Africa
  • 33,220 refugees around the world
  • 4,890 increase since 2011

Nicarágua

Nicarágua

  • Refugees in Nicaragua
  • 129 refugees in the country
  • 43 increase since 2011
  • Nicaraguan Refugees
  • 1,531 refugees around the world
  • 63 increase since 2011

Costa Rica

Costa Rica

  • Refugees in Costa Rica
  • 20,449 refugees in the country
  • 392 increase since 2011
  • Costa Rican Refugees
  • 325 refugees around the world
  • 6 decline since 2011

Panamá

Panamá

  • Refugees in Panama
  • 17,429 refugees in the country
  • 167 increase since 2011
  • Panama Refugees
  • 106 refugees around the world
  • 6 increase since 2011

Colômbia

Colômbia

  • Refugees in Colombia
  • 219 refugees in the country
  • no changes since 2011
  • Refugees of Colombia
  • 394,122 refugees around the world
  • 1,827 decline since 2011

  • Guiana

    Guiana

    • Guyana Refugees
    • 7 refugees in the country
    • no changes since 2011
    • Venezuela Refugees
    • 801 refugees around the world
    • 30 increase since 2011

    Equador

    Equador

    • Refugees in Ecuador
    • 123,824 refugees in the country
    • 388 increase since 2011
    • Ecuadorian Refugees
    • 844 refugees around the world
    • 65 decline since 2011

    Peru

    Peru

    • Refugees in Peru
    • 1,122 refugees in the country
    • 22 decline since 2011
    • Peru Refugees
    • 5,212 refugees around the world
    • 279 decline since 2011

    Chile

    Chile

    • Refugees in Chile
    • 1,695 refugees in the country
    • 21 increase since 2011
    • Refugees of Chile
    • 1,152 refugees around the world
    • 37 decline since 2011

    Argentina

    Argentina

    • Refugees in Argentina
    • 3,488 refugees in the country
    • 127 Increase since 2011
    • Refugees from Argentina
    • 447 refugees around the world
    • 71 decline since 2011

    Bolivia

    Bolivia

    • Refugees in Bolivia
    • 733 refugees in the country
    • 17 increase since 2011
    • Bolivia Refugees
    • 618 refugees around the world
    • 7 increase since 2011

    Paraguai

    Paraguai

    • Refugees in Paraguay
    • 133 refugees in the country
    • 9 increase since 2011
    • Paraguayan refugees
    • 101 refugees around the world
    • 10 increase since 2011

    Indonésia

    Indonésia

    • Refugees in Indonesia
    • 1,819 refugees in the country
    • 813 decline since 2011
    • Indonesia Refugees
    • 15,526 refugees around the world
    • 553 increase since 2011

    El Salvador

    El Salvador

    • Refugees in El Salvador
    • 45 refugees in the country
    • 7 increase since 2011
    • El Salvador Refugees
    • 8,170 refugees around the world
    • 1,450 increase since 2011

    Honduras

    Honduras

    • Refugees in Honduras
    • 16 refugees in the country
    • 1 decline since 2011
    • Honduras Refugees
    • 2,613 refugees around the world
    • 647 decline since 2011

    Cuba

    Cuba

    • Refugees in Cuba
    • 371 refugees in the country
    • 13 decline since 2011
    • Cuba Refugees
    • 7,730 refugees around the world
    • 126 decline since 2011

    Jamaica

    Jamaica

    • Jamaica Refugees
    • 20 refugees in the country
    • no changes since 2011
    • Jamaica Refugees
    • 1,379 refugees around the world
    • 129 increase since 2011

    Haiti

    Haiti

    • Refugees in Haiti
    • no data from refugees in the country
    • no changes since 2011
    • Haitian refugees
    • 38,567 refugees around the world
    • 4,906 increase since 2011

    Bahamas

    Bahamas

    • Refugees in the Bahamas
    • 37 refugees in the country
    • 9 increase since 2011
    • Refugees from the Bahamas
    • 196 refugees around the world
    • 11 increase since 2011

    Belize

    Belize

    • Refugees in Belize
    • 28 refugees in the country
    • 50 decline since 2011
    • Refugees of Belize
    • 39 refugees around the world
    • 7 increase since 2011

    Guatemala

    Guatemala

    • Refugees in Guatemala
    • 159 refugees in the country
    • 12 increase since 2011
    • Guatemalan refugees
    • 6,386 refugees around the world
    • 298 increase since 2011

    México

    México

    • Refugees in Mexico
    • 1,520 refugees in the country
    • 157 decline since 2011
    • Refugees of Mexico
    • 8,435 refugees around the world
    • 963 increase since 2011

    Estados Unidos

    Estados Unidos

    • Refugees in the United States
    • 262,023 refugees in the country
    • 2.740 decline since 2011
    • United States Refugees
    • 4,456 refugees around the world
    • 678 increase since 2011

    Canadá

    Canadá

    • Refugees in Canada
    • 163,756 refugees in the country
    • 1.127 decline since 2011
    • Canadian Refugees
    • 123 refugees around the world
    • 14 increase since 2011

    Egito

    Egito

    • Refugees in Egypt
    • 109,933 refugees in the country
    • 14,846 increase since 2011
    • Refugees of Egypt
    • 9,980 refugees around the world
    • 2,044 increase since 2011

    Saudi Arabia

    Saudi Arabia

    • Refugees in Saudi Arabia
    • 577 refugees in the country
    • 22 decline since 2011
    • Refugees from Saudi Arabia
    • 817 refugees around the world
    • 72 Increase since 2011

    Nigéria

    Nigéria

    • Refugees in Nigeria
    • 3,154 refugees in the country
    • 5,652 decline since 2011
    • Nigeria Refugees
    • 18,021 refugees around the world
    • 880 increase since 2011

    Chade

    Chade

    • Refugees in Chad
    • 373,695 refugees in the country
    • 7,201 decline since 2011
    • Chad Refugees
    • 39,695 refugees around the world
    • 2,945 increase since 2011

    Congo

    Congo

    • Refugees in the Congo
    • 65,109 refugees in the country
    • 87,640 decline since 2011
    • Congo refugees
    • 509,396 refugees around the world
    • 17,915 increase since 2011

    Líbia

    Líbia

    • Refugees in Libya
    • 7,065 refugees in the country
    • 3,065 decline since 2011
    • Libyan refugees
    • 5,252 refugees around the world
    • 868 increase since 2011

    Algeria

    Algeria

    • Refugees in Algeria
    • 94,133 refugees in the country
    • 15 decline since 2011
    • Refugees from Algeria
    • 5,706 refugees around the world
    • 415 decline since 2011

     

      Fonte: UNHCR - (FICSS) 2016

    Current Data

    According to UNHCR data, at the end of 2015, there were 65.3 million people forcibly displaced worldwide, of whom 21.3 million were refugees (16.1 million under UNHCR’s mandate and 5.2 million refugees Palestinians registered with UNRWA), 3.2 million asylum seekers and 40.8 million internally displaced persons. During 2015, an average of 24 people a minute were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere.

    Under UNHCR’s mandate, there were more than 43 million people, the second largest number registered by the agency since 1993. Of the total, 47% were women and 53% were men. Under 18 years old made up 51% of the refugee population. Of the requests for refuge, Of the refugee requests, 98,400 were carried out by unaccompanied children, the largest since that date began to be collected in 2006. The main countries of origin of these children are Afghanistan, Eritrea, Syria and Somalia, and the destination are 78 countries.

    More than half of the refugees around the world come from three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. The main host countries are Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran, Ethiopia and Jordan.

    In 2015, approximately 201,000 refugees voluntarily repatriated themselves, most of them Afghans, Sudanese, Somalis and Central Africans.

    History

    There are references to the practice of welcoming and protecting the stranger who is fleeing persecution in texts written 3,500 years ago during the flourishing of the great Middle Eastern empires such as Hittite, Babylonian, Assyrian and Ancient Egyptian. During Greek and Roman Antiquity and the Middle Ages, the reception of victims of forced migration gained religious outlines, with asylum being granted to ordinary criminals to the process of repentance before the divinity in temples, where respect and fear of sacred sites and The gods protected people from the violence of persecutors, governments, and armies that were forbidden to enter. The etymological origin of the word already tells its history: “asylum” comes from the Greek term “asilon” and from the Latin term “asylum”, meaning inviolable place, temple, place of protection and refuge.

    With liberal revolutions and the emergence of international law in interstate society, asylum was granted to persecuted politicians, not to ordinary criminals. However, until the twentieth century, international law did not have specific institutions or rules for refuge. Those seeking protection in another country depended on the generosity of national laws regarding the granting of asylum.

    The violent conflicts and political riots between 1919 and 1939, especially the end of World War I, the Russian Civil War and the ruin of the Ottoman Empire, and the establishment of the League of Nations in 1919, concentrated the efforts needed to create a legal and international definition for the refuge. The League of Nations was responsible for establishing the framework for international action that led to the adoption of a set of international agreements in which refugees were categorized by their nationality, the territory they had left and the lack of diplomatic protection by Country of origin.

    Between the wars, two of the most important pioneers of refugee action were the first High Commissioners appointed by the League of Nations: Fridtjof Nansen & James McDonald.

    Formally, international refugee assistance efforts began in 1921 when the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) organized an international conference to discuss the case of Russian refugees (more than one million people were displaced due to the Russian Federation Civil War from 1918 to 1921 and to the famine of 1921). The ICRC appealed to the Council of the League of Nations to take responsibility for a Russian High Commissioner for Refugees and to appoint a High Commissioner, appointed by Fridtjof Nansen. With a 10-year term of office, the High Commissioner was charged with defining the legal status of refugees, arranging their repatriation or resettlement for countries that would accept them, provide work, and provide aid and assistance to charitable organizations.

    In 1922, as many refugees of Russian origin had been denationalized and stateless and undocumented, the “Arrangement Relating to the Issue of Identity Certificates to Russian Refugees”, better known as the “Nansen Passport”, gave them legal personality, being the first international identity document for refugees. However, the 1922 Adjustment still did not define the concept of refugee and did not allow the holders of the Nansen Passport the unconditional return to the country that had issued it.

    In 1924, the “Plan for the Issue of a Certificate of Identity to Armenian Refugees” extended to this group the right to enjoy the Nansen Passport and to be the object of the legal protection which the Russians already enjoyed. However, it was only in 1926 that the “Arrangement Relating to the Issue of Identity Certificates to Russian and Armenian Refugees” defined what should be understood by Russian and Armenian refugees. More elaborate instruments on the subject were drafted in 1928 during the “Intergovernmental Conference for the Juridical Situation of Russian and Armenian Refugees”. They were: “Arrangement Relating to the Legal Status of Russian and Armenian Refugees”, the first attempt to formulate, in legal terms and in the form of an international instrument, a legal status for refugees; “Extension to Other Categories of Certain Measures Taken in Favour of Russian and Armenian Refugees” to cover Turkish refugees, Assyrians, Chaldean Assyrians and assimilated refugees, who were then considered as “Nansen Refugees”; and the “Agreement concerning the Functions of the Representatives of the League of Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees”. Although not legally binding, the adjustment of Russian and Armenian refugees in 1928 was the first attempt to formulate, in legal terms and in the form of an international instrument, a legal status for refugees.

    The 1933 Convention on the International Status of Refugees and ratified by only eight States was the first international instrument to refer to the principle that refugees should not be forced to return to their country of origin. Another relevant international instrument was the 1938 Convention concerning the Status of Refugees from Germany. Also in 1938, the Intergovernmental Committee for Refugees was established in London to carry out resettlements.

    World War II (01.09.1939 – 02.09.1945) and the immediate postwar period led to the largest forced population displacement in modern history. It is estimated that in May 1945, more than 40 million people were displaced in Europe. In the months that followed, there were also about 13 million people of German origin (Volksdeutsche) who were expelled from the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia and other Eastern European countries, as well as 11.3 million forced and displaced people the Allies encountered in the territories of the former Reich.

    There were also the evasion of more than one million Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Poles, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, among other nationalities, from the communist and totalitarian rule of Josef Stalin (1922-1953), who had undertaken population transfers, many forced , In the USSR before, during and after the 2nd World War. In the Balkan Peninsula the Civil War of Greece (1946 – 1949) broke out, and other conflicts arose in the south-east of Europe, generating thousands of refugees.

    Such movements of people across the war-torn European continent worried the Allied powers, and in 1943 the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) was created, which was replaced in 1947 by the International Refugee Organization (IRO), both direct predecessors of UNHCR.

    Also in 1943 the Bermuda Conference between the United States and the United Kingdom was held, which extended international protection by defining refugees as “all persons of whatever origin who, as a result of events in Europe, had to leave their countries of residence for endanger their lives or freedom because of their race, religion or political beliefs”. This device was the embryo of the future definition of refuge provided for in the 1951 Geneva Convention.

    In the post-war context and consolidation of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was approved in 1948, Article XIV of which guarantees the individual’s right to seek and benefit from asylum in other countries, if one is a victim of persecution. The committee that drew up and approved the UDHR was chaired by Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, later honored with the first Nansen Refugee Award.

    In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the world saw the Cold War, the construction of the Berlin Wall, the formation of two German states, the explosion of the first Soviet atomic bomb, North Atlantic (NATO), the victory of Mao Tse-Tung in China and the beginning of the Korean War. These events made it clear that the refugee issue was not a temporary post-war phenomenon, and that there were still 400,000 people displaced in Europe at the end of 1951. But the ideological tensions of the Cold War permeated interstate negotiations on the formation of a new UN refugee agency replacing the IOR, whose term of office was officially closed in February 1952. The Soviet bloc boycotted many of the negotiations, and there were also huge differences between the Western powers. The US financed about two-thirds of the IOR funds, whose operating cost was higher than the UN’s overall operating budget. They therefore pleaded for the creation of a temporary agency with little funding and limited objectives, wishing that the new organ be denied a performance in emergency operations, depriving it of the assistance of the General Assembly and denying it the right to raise volunteers contributions. Western European countries were in favor of a strong, permanent and multi-purpose refugee agency, with an independent High Commissioner and able to raise funds and redistribute them in favor of refugees.

    In December 1949, the UN General Assembly decided by 36 votes in favor, 5 against and 11 abstentions to establish the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which began operations on January 1, 1951, with an initial term of three years.

    The UNHCR Statute, adopted by the General Assembly on 14 December 1950, reflected the divergences that preceded the establishment of the agency: its functional and authority limitations stemmed primarily from the desire of the United States and Western allies to establish an international Refugees agency which did not pose any threat to the national sovereignty of the Western powers or imposed new financial burdens on them. In the case of the United States, Congress had also vetoed the allocation of US funds to any international organization operating in the Soviet bloc.

    The primary functions of UNHCR were twofold: to provide international refugee protection; to seek permanent solutions to the refugee problem by collaborating with governments for voluntary repatriation or local integration. Although the agency was guaranteed the right to collect voluntary contributions, the United States was able to make them subject to prior approval by the General Assembly, making UNHCR dependent on a small administrative budget of the agency and a small emergency fund.

    Dependent on voluntary contributions, mainly from the States, and lacking extra resources to implement a repatriation program such as that developed by UNRRA, UNHCR’s annual budget of about $ 300,000 was scarce to the extent of its first High Commissioner Gerrit Jan Van Heuven Goedhart to say that there was a risk that the work of his commissariat would be restricted to “managing the suffering” of the refugees. In 1954, the United Nations Refugee Fund (UNREF) was created to finance projects in countries such as Austria, Germany, Greece and Italy, with a financial contribution from the United States. The initial rigid opposition of the USSR to UNHCR also began to change in the mid-1950s, facilitating the admission to the United Nations of a number of developing countries, which recognized UNHCR’s potential usefulness to its own problems with refugees.

    Simultaneously with the creation of UNHCR in December 1949 and on the initiative of the United States, the UN General Assembly also decided to create the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). However, when the agency was established, the Arab States insisted that Palestinian refugees receiving assistance from UNRWA be excluded from the mandate of UNHCR and the 1951 Convention (relating to the Status of Refugees), as they feared that the definition of individual refugee would weaken The position of the Palestinians and that the apolitical character provided for UNHCR was not compatible with the highly politicized nature of the Palestinian question. Thus, both the UNHCR Statute of 1950 and the 1951 Refugee Convention exclude persons benefiting from the protection or assistance of another UN body or institution.

    As the refugee problem had not been resolved after the end of the 2nd World War, there was a need for a new international instrument defining the status of refugees. The negotiations that led to the creation of UNHCR took place in parallel with those involving the Geneva Convention on the Status of Refugees, adopted on 28 July 1951. Instead of formulating ad hoc arrangements for specific refugee situations as had previously occurred, it was opted a single legal instrument containing the general definition of persons to be regarded as refugees. However, during the process of elaborating the Convention, the term “refugee” provoked controversy as States sought to restrict the definition to what they were willing to assume as legal obligations. They agreed, finally, with a general definition of the universally applicable term “refugee,” centered on the concept of the well-founded fear of persecution. The 1951 Convention also considered Article 1A (1) as statutory refugees, persons considered to be refugees as a result of the international instruments prior to 1951.

    The 1951 Convention, the “Magna Carta” of refugees, set out the rights and duties of refugees and the obligations of States, stipulating international standards of treatment. It also established the principles that promote and safeguard refugee rights in employment, education, residence, freedom of movement, access to the courts, naturalization and security against return to a country where they may be victims of persecution (non-refoulement principle). However, the Convention had a temporal and geographical limitation: it did not apply to persons who had become refugees because of events after 1 January 1951 and States, by becoming parties to the Convention, were able to make a statement limiting European refugees.

    Also in 1951 the Provisional Intergovernmental Committee for the Movement of Migrants from Europe (PICMME) was set up to support the movement of immigrants and refugees from Europe to the overseas countries of immigration, and later became the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

    The Hungarian crisis in 1956 was the first major emergency in which UNHCR was involved and raised the issue of unaccompanied minors: refugee children flee on their own, or separate from their families during the flight, become highly vulnerable and are also covered by the agency’s mandate.

    The General Assembly Resolution recognized the problem of refugees as a global issue and established the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner (ExCom), also pointing to the creation of an emergency fund and recognizing the permanent role of UNHCR, then consolidated by the World Year Of the Refugee, in 1959/60.

    The wars of independence in African countries led to refugee crises and expanded UNHCR’s work during the 1960s. Reflecting the international community’s perception of the global nature of the refugee problem, a new Protocol was drawn up in 1967, extending the scope of 1951 Convention by removing the temporal limitation of “events occurring before 1 January 1951″.

    In 1969, the Organization of African Unity (OAU – now the African Union), with the participation of UNHCR, developed its own regional convention on refugees. In force since 1974, it established the so-called broad definition of refugee, considering as a refugee one who, due to a scenario of serious human rights violations, was forced to leave his habitual residence to seek refuge in another State.

    In the context of the Indochinese refugee crisis, 65 nations participated in the 1979 Meeting on Refugees and Displaced. Persons in South-East Asia, in Geneva. The meeting endorsed the concepts of “first asylum” (temporary asylum followed by resettlement in a third country) and non-refoulement.

    In 1984, the OAU’s expanded definition was also endorsed by the Declaration of Cartagena, which contemplates refugees who fled their countries because their life, security or freedom were threatened by widespread violence, foreign aggression, internal conflicts, massive violation of human rights or other circumstances that have seriously disrupted public order.

    In 2004, twenty Latin American countries, including Brazil, signed the Mexico Declaration and Plan of Action in Mexico City to strengthen the protection of refugees through the search for durable solutions, highlighting the importance of cooperation and international solidarity and the division of responsibilities among the countries of Latin America. Currently, the refuge institute is consolidated, with its own rules and principles, anchored in international treaties and documents with which the states of the nations commit themselves.

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