Welcome to our New Refugee Resources Page

Here is an excellent introduction to the REFUGEE crisis worldwide. UNASB invites you to click below to


"We have seen advances in every aspect of our lives — except our humanity," says Luma Mufleh, a Jordanian immigrant and Muslim of Syrian descent who founded the first accredited school for refugees in the United States. Mufleh shares stories of hope and resilience, explaining how she's helping young people from war-torn countries navigate the difficult process of building new homes. Get inspired to make a personal difference in the lives of refugees with this powerful talk.

The United Nations Role in the Refugee Crisis:
Some Facts and Figures

Douglas Gillies, UNA/SB

The United Nations Refugee Agency was formed in 1950 during the aftermath of the Second World War to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes. The United Nations was the only entity that could address such a massive conflict that had no regard for borders. It was given three years to complete its work and then disband, but the problem kept growing.
In 1954, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in Europe.
In 1956, during the Hungarian Revolution, 200,000 fled to neighboring Austria. Recognizing the Hungarians as refugees, UNHCR led efforts to resettle them. This uprising and its aftermath shaped the way humanitarian organizations would deal with refugee crises in the future.
During the 1960s, the decolonization of Africa produced numerous refugee crises. The UNHCR helped uprooted people in Asia and Latin America over the following two decades. In the 1970s, there was an exodus of East Pakistanis to India shortly before the birth of Bangladesh. In Asia, millions fled the Vietnam war.
In 1981, the UNHCR received a second Nobel Peace Prize for its worldwide assistance to refugees.
In the 1980s, many member states were unwilling to resettle refugees due to the sharp rise in numbers who were not fleeing wars between states, but fleeing ethnic conflict in newly independent states. Civilians were increasingly targeted as a military strategy. Conflicts fueled by superpower rivalry were aggravated by socio-economic problems.
In the 1990s, with the end of the Cold War, ethnic conflict contributed heavily to refugee flight. Genocide in Rwanda caused a massive refugee crisis.
In 2015, Antonio Guterres was appointed UN Secretary General. Guterres had been working on the refugee crisis for a quarter of a century. He founded the Portuguese Refugee Council in 1991, was elected Portuguese prime minister from 1995 to 2002, then served as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for ten years.
In 2016, conflicts displaced 42,500 people per day.  We are witnessing the highest levels of displacement in history—65.3 million people around the world have been forced from home, including 21.3 million refugees. Over half are under the age of 18. Every day, 34,000 people are forcibly displaced as a result of conflict or persecution.
The UNHCR annual budget is $6.54 billion in 2017 as the UNHCR battles restrictive asylum policies. It employs 10,800 staff members in 128 countries.

In September 2016, the General Assembly hosted the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, where 193 nations signed the New York Declaration, a plan to protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, regardless of status.
The New York Declaration contains concrete plans for how to build on these commitments:
– Start negotiations leading to an international conference and the adoption of a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration in 2018 by which migration, like other areas of international relations, will be guided by a set of common principles and approaches.
– Develop guidelines for the treatment of migrants in vulnerable situations, which is particularly important for the increasing number of unaccompanied children on the move.
– Achieve a more equitable sharing of the burden and responsibility for hosting and supporting the world’s refugees by adopting a global compact on refugees in 2018.

New York Declaration commitments adopted by the UN in September 2016:
– Protect the human rights of all refugees and migrants, regardless of status. This includes the rights of women and girls and promoting their full, equal and meaningful participation in finding solutions.
– Ensure that all refugee and migrant children are receiving education within a few months of arrival.
– Prevent and respond to sexual and gender-based violence.
– Support those countries rescuing, receiving and hosting large numbers of refugees and migrants.
– Work towards ending the practice of detaining children for the purposes of determining their migration status.
– Strongly condemn xenophobia against refugees and migrants and support a global campaign to counter it.
– Strengthen the positive contributions made by migrants to economic and social development in their host countries.
– Improve the delivery of humanitarian and development assistance to those countries most affected, including innovative multilateral financial solutions with the goal of closing all funding gaps.
– Implement a comprehensive refugee response, based on a new framework that sets out the responsibility of Member States, civil society partners, and the UN system, whenever there is a large movement of refugees or a protracted refugee situation.
– Find new homes for all refugees identified by UNHCR as needing resettlement; and expand the opportunities for refugees to relocate to other countries through, for example, labor mobility or education schemes.
– Strengthen the global governance of migration by bringing the International Organization for Migration into the UN system.