UNHCR’s annual Global Trends report was published today. It shows that as of the end of 2019, 79.5 million people were displaced. This is the highest total seen by UNHCR and the numbers have almost doubled in the last decade. (The figure was 41m in 2010 and is almost 80m now). Meanwhile the report also shows that the prospects of refugees finding durable solutions to their plight are reducing; in the 1990s, on average 1.5 million refugees were able to return home each year; over the past decade that number has fallen to around 385,000.
And these numbers, of course, hide a multitude of individual and very personal crises. As many children (estimated at 30-34 million, tens of thousands of them unaccompanied) are among the displaced, as, for example, the entire populations of Australia, Denmark and Mongolia combined. Meanwhile, the proportion of displaced aged 60 and above (4 percent) is far below that of the world population (12 percent) – a statistic that speaks to immeasurable heartbreak, desperation, sacrifice and being torn apart from loved ones.
This blog by the Refugee Council summarises the report and makes the case for more action from government