Forced Displacement

forced displacement


*Forced Displacement at its Highest in Decades’ is a UNHCR online report written by Adrian Edwards and published on 15/06/2019. The report draws our attention towards the alarming number of people being forced to leave their homes due to various reasons.

This phenomena is taking place worldwide and the report gives us the statistics of many countries where it is happening and talks of the several causes that are leading up to it. What happens to these people once they are displaced?

What are the hardships they face? Are they accepted in their country of refuge? How does it affects the places where they take shelter – these are some other issues that the report highlights.

What is forced displacement A refugee is a person who is forced to migrate in the host country. A person who willingly moves from one country to another is called a migrant.

A migrant and a refugee are two different concepts. The people who are in search of opportunities for craning money are economic migrants. They move to countries where their skills are in demand, where they can contribute to the economy as well as increase the opportunities for them to earn money. As opposed to this, a refugee leaves a place because of danger to his/her life. A refugee runs from conflict, violence, or any other danger, which may be a threat to his/her security and livelihood.

What does UNHCR do?

UNHCR is a not for profit organisation which was founded in 1950. The UN Refugee Agency works at the global level to save the lives of refugees, forcibly displaced and stateless people. They work to protect their rights and make efforts to give a better life to them. They make sure that the refugees who were forced to move from their country because of violence, religious persecution, war, drought, etc can find a safe place to live as well as apply for asylum.

UNHCR was awarded Nobel Peace Prize in 1954 and in 1981.It is involved in resettlement activities of people who are forcefully displaced.

forced displacement

Causes – The major causes of forced displacement are as follows:

1. Drought:

A single drought can be the reason for disaster for communities whose lives and carnings depend on regular and successful harvests.

2. Hunger

Drought has a direct link with hunger and it is very significant. What people in farming regions don’t consume from their own harvests is sold to make a living. War and conflict can also mean a lack of access to markets and fields. Crops and food supplies can also be destroyed or stolen.

3. Earthquakes

Olivia Giovetti in her article mentions, “In 2015, a devastating series of earthquakes hit Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India (7.5 magnitude) and Nepal (7.8-magnitude and 7.3-magnitude, respectively). These drove hundreds of thousands of residents from their homes.

4. War and conflict

Conflict is the most common factor for forced migration around the world. The Rohingya crisis in Myanmar has been able to attract a lot of attention. It is approximately 75% of the country’s Muslim population who has run to neighbouring country Bangladesh because of violence and ethnic cleansing.

UNO in 2017 had declared the sad condition of Rohingyas as the “fastest-growing refugee emergency” in the world due to a constant rise in tension and violence. South Sudan is also a witness to war-induced migration during its short existence.

5. Economic Circumstances

The search for opportunities which can make people earn their livelihoods and the lack of it in their own countries is one of the biggest factors for migration.

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