UN and Refugees
" As long as there are wars and persecution, there will be refugees. I ask you to remember them. Their story is one of resilience, perseverance and courage. Ours must be of solidarity, compassion and action. "
Secretary-General , UN
Find reports and other useful documents about the refuges and migrants
Who is an asylum seeker?
An asylum-seeker is someone whose request for sanctuary has yet to be processed. Every year, around one million people seek asylum.
National asylum systems help to determine who qualifies for international protection. However, during mass movements of refugees, usually as a result of conflict or violence, it is not always possible or necessary to conduct individual interviews with every asylum seeker who crosses a border. These groups are often called ‘prima facie’ refugees.
Who is a Refugee?
Refugees are defined and protected in international law. The 1951 Refugee Convention is a key legal document and defines a refugee as:
“someone who is unable or unwilling to return to their country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.”
By the end of 2017, there were 25.4 million refugee men, women and children registered across the world.
Who is a migrant?
The UN Migration Agency (IOM) defines a migrant as any person who is moving or has moved across an international border or within a State away from his/her habitual place of residence, regardless of (1) the person’s legal status; (2) whether the movement is voluntary or involuntary; (3) what the causes for the movement are; or (4) what the length of the stay is.