In 2016 millions of people were forcibly displaced around the world as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations according to the UN’s Refugee Agency.  At this time, we saw a significant increase in people entering Europe from the Middle East and North Africa due to escalating conflicts in those areas. So it does make sense that most of those people would be genuine refugees who are fleeing conflict, persecution and violence.

The journeys that they make are both incredibly dangerous and horrifying, with thousands drowning crossing the Mediterranean, tales of shocking brutality and abuse on the Balkan route, and photographs of human slave markets and torture in Libya; it only makes sense that these are journeys made by people who have absolutely no choice.

The majority of refugees we meet come from Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrean, Iraq and Iran. The Global Peace Index lists the 28 most dangerous countries in the world and all of these are included – indeed, Afghanistan is ranked as number two and South Sudan as number three; they are fleeing the worst and most dangerous countries on this planet.

Over 68.5 million people around the globe have had to flee their homes since end of World War II

  • 12,851 people from Syria have been resettled in Britain since the conflict began.
  • As of June 2018, 67,122 people arrived in Europe via sea. Just under half were women and children. In the same period 1,549 men, women and children lost their lives during their attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea.
  • 158 countries or territories worldwide are hosting refugees.
  • Most people remain displaced within their home countries, but about 25.4 million people worldwide have fled to other countries as refugees. More than half of refugees are children
  • 85% of the world’s refugees are sheltered by developing countries.
  • 11.3 million refugees are hosted by these 10 countries (Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda, Lebanon, Iran, Germany, Ethiopia, Jordan, Sudan, DR Congo).
  • Currently refugees make up 0.18% of the UK population.
  • In 2017 Britain received less than 4% of all asylum claims made in the EU.
  • Of the 14,166 people granted asylum, protection and resettlement in 2017, 5,953 were less than 18 years old.
  • Over 13 million people had been forcibly displaced from their homes in Syria by the end of 2017, of which 5.6 million are refugees.

The video Coming Ashore is a 10 minute documentary by that gathers the graphic coverage on the Eastern Mediterranean migratory route by journalists Santi Palacios and Mikel Konate.  This video repeatedly reminds us why we do what we do. 

Another more up to date video of the Moria Refugee Camp in Lesvos can be seen here.  It is a BBC news article about the camp in December 2019. The article is paticularly focused on the welfare of children in the camp.

Another video specifically about the Moria camp can be seen here:

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Humans suffering in Moria refugee camp

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