Record 65.6 million people displaced worldwide: UNHCR

A record 65.6 million people are either refugees, asylum seekers or internally displaced across the globe, announced the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

The revelation was made on 19 June 2017 in the UN Refugee Agency's annual Global Trends study.

Key highlights of the Global Trends study

By the end of 2016, 65.6 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations.

During the year, 10.3 million people were newly displaced by conflict or persecution. This included 6.9 million individuals displaced within the borders of their own countries and 3.4 million new refugees and new asylum-seekers.

The number of new displacements was equivalent to 20 people being forced to flee their homes every minute of 2016.

Children below 18 years of age constituted about half of the refugee population in 2016.

Developing regions hosted 84 per cent of the world’s refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, with about 14.5 million people.

During 2016, 552200 refugees returned to their countries of origin, often in less than ideal conditions.

Lebanon continued to host the largest number of refugees relative to its national population, where 1 in 6 people was a refugee.

Altogether, 55 per cent of all refugees worldwide came from just three countries: Syrian Arab Republic (5.5 million), Afghanistan (2.5 million) and South Sudan (1.4 million).

For the third consecutive year, Turkey hosted the largest number of refugees worldwide, with 2.9 million people.

Unaccompanied or separated children, mainly Afghans, and Syrians, lodged around 75000 asylum applications in 70 countries during the year, although this figure is assumed to be an underestimate.

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