Amnesty International is calling for a new mechanism for resettling vulnerable refugees — Ten countries housing most of the world’s refugees


LONDON: Ten countries accounting for 2.5 per cent of world GDP are hosting more than half the world’s refugees, Amnesty International said Tuesday (Oct 4) as it slammed what it called the selfishness of wealthy nations.

In a report on the plight faced by the world’s 21 million refugees, the London-based human rights body lamented that countries immediately neighbouring crisis zones bear the brunt of the global refugee problem.

Fifty-six percent of refugees are being sheltered in 10 countries, according to the report, in which Amnesty proposed a solution whereby the world’s countries find a home for 10 percent of the planet’s refugees every year.

A Jordanian soldier stands guard as Syrian refugees arrive to a camp on the Jordanian side of the Al-Hadalat border crossing point near the eastern town of Ruwaished, in May 2016. (Photo: AFP/Khalil Mazraawi)

“A small number of countries have been left to do far too much just because they are neighbours to a crisis,” said Amnesty secretary general Salil Shetty, presenting the report entitled “Tackling the global refugee crisis: from shirking to sharing responsibility”.

“That situation is inherently unsustainable, exposing the millions fleeing war and persecution in countries like Syria, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Iraq to intolerable misery and suffering.

“It is time for leaders to enter into a serious, constructive debate about how our societies are going to help people forced to leave their homes by war and persecution.”

Amnesty said the top refugee hosting country was Jordan, which has taken in more than 2.7 million people, followed by Turkey (more than 2.5 million); Pakistan (1.6 million) and Lebanon (more than 1.5 million).

The remaining six nations listed in the top 10 each hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees: Iran (979,400); Ethiopia (736,100); Kenya (553,900); Uganda (477,200); Democratic Republic of Congo (383,100), and Chad (369,500).

The statistics are based on figures from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

Amnesty said many of the world’s wealthiest nations “host the fewest and do the least”.

“It is not simply a matter of sending aid money. Rich countries cannot pay to keep people ‘over there’,” it said.

The “self-interest” of such countries meant the international refugee crisis was set to get worse, not better, Amnesty claimed.

“If every one of the wealthiest countries in the world were to take in refugees in proportion to their size, wealth and unemployment rate, finding a home for more of the world’s refugees would be an eminently solvable challenge,” said Shetty.

The report cites Canada as an example of how, with leadership and vision, states can resettle large numbers of refugees in a timely manner.

Canada has resettled nearly 30,000 Syrian refugees since November 2015. Slightly more than half were sponsored by the Canadian government, with close to 11,000 others arriving through private sponsorship arrangements. As of late August 2016, an additional 18,000 Syrians’ applications were being processed – mainly in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Today only around 30 countries run some kind of refugee resettlement programme, and the number of places offered annually falls far short of the needs identified by the UN. If this increased to 60 or 90, it would make a significant impact on the crisis, the report said.

To encourage more countries to take effective action, Amnesty International is calling for a new mechanism for resettling vulnerable refugees and a new global transfer mechanism for acute situations like the Syrian conflict, so that neighbouring countries would no longer be overwhelmed when large numbers of people flee for their lives

Read the entire report from Amnesty International:

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One Response to “Amnesty International is calling for a new mechanism for resettling vulnerable refugees — Ten countries housing most of the world’s refugees”

  1. daveyone1 Says:

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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