How many refugees are there?
According to UN estimates, there are more than 25 million refugees worldwide, plus a further 40 million internally displaced people, who have been forced to move from their home communities, but have stayed in the same country.
Where are refugees living?
About 85% of refugees are living in developing countries. At the end of 2017, the countries hosting the most refugees were Turkey (3.5 million), Pakistan (1.4 million), Uganda (1.2 million), and Lebanon (1 million). The UK was hosting less than 200,000.
Why do people leave?
Refugees do not leave their countries or abandon their normal lives for economic reasons. They are seeking asylum and shelter from war, or because their countries have failed to protect them from violence due to their race, religion, nationality, sexuality, or political opinions.
What is the legal difference between a refugee and a person seeking asylum?
The asylum-seeking process is very detailed, and can last several years. During that time, the person seeking asylum is not allowed to work or study, and receives 30% less than those on state benefits.
Are there special arrangements for refugees from Syria?
By the end of 2017, there were 6.3 million Syrian refugees worldwide. More than 4 million of these are being hosted by just two countries, Turkey and Lebanon.
In 2014, the UK government made a commitment to resettle 20,000 people by 2020. By the end of 2017, 10,538 refugees had come to the UK through this scheme. As of spring 2019, Cheltenham has welcomed 25 Syrian families.