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Field Listing :: Refugees and internally displaced persons
This entry includes those persons residing in a country as refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs). The definition of a refugee according to a United Nations Convention is "a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution." The UN established the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1950 to handle refugee matters worldwide. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has a different operational definition for a Palestinian refugee: "a person whose normal place of residence was Palestine during the period 1 June 1946 to 15 May 1948 and who lost both home and means of livelihood as a result of the 1948 conflict." However, UNHCR also assists some 400,000 Palestinian refugees not covered under the UNRWA definition. The term "internally displaced person" is not specifically covered in the UN Convention; it is used to describe people who have fled their homes for reasons similar to refugees, but who remain within their own national territory and are subject to the laws of that state.
Refugees and internally displaced persons
Afghanistan IDPs: 132,246 (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in south and west due to drought and instability) (2007)
Algeria refugees (country of origin): 90,000 (Western Saharan Sahrawi, mostly living in Algerian-sponsored camps in the southwestern Algerian town of Tindouf)
IDPs: undetermined (civil war during 1990s) (2007)
Angola refugees (country of origin): 12,615 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
IDPs: 61,700 (27-year civil war ending in 2002; 4 million IDPs already have returned) (2007)
Armenia refugees (country of origin): 113,295 (Azerbaijan)
IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, majority have returned home since 1994 ceasefire) (2007)
Azerbaijan refugees (country of origin): 2,400 (Russia)
IDPs: 580,000-690,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2007)
Bangladesh refugees (country of origin): 26,268 (Burma)
IDPs: 65,000 (land conflicts, religious persecution) (2007)
Benin refugees (country of origin): 9,444 (Togo) (2007)
Bosnia and Herzegovina refugees (country of origin): 7,269 (Croatia)
IDPs: 131,600 (Bosnian Croats, Serbs, and Bosniaks displaced in 1992-95 war) (2007)
Burma IDPs: 503,000 (government offensives against ethnic insurgent groups near the eastern borders; most IDPs are ethnic Karen, Karenni, Shan, Tavoyan, and Mon) (2007)
Burundi refugees (country of origin): 9,849 (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
IDPs: 100,000 (armed conflict between government and rebels; most IDPs in northern and western Burundi) (2007)
Cameroon refugees (country of origin): 20,000-30,000 (Chad); 3,000 (Nigeria); 24,000 (Central African Republic) (2007)
Central African Republic refugees (country of origin): 7,900 (Sudan); 3,700 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); note - UNHCR resumed repatriation of Southern Sudanese refugees in 2006
IDPs: 197,000 (ongoing unrest following coup in 2003) (2007)
Chad refugees (country of origin): 234,000 (Sudan); 54,200 (Central African Republic)
IDPs: 178,918 (2007)
China refugees (country of origin): 300,897 (Vietnam); estimated 30,000-50,000 (North Korea)
IDPs: 90,000 (2007)
Colombia IDPs: 1.8-3.5 million (conflict between government and illegal armed groups and drug traffickers) (2007)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the refugees (country of origin): 132,295 (Angola); 37,313 (Rwanda); 17,777 (Burundi); 13,904 (Uganda); 6,181 (Sudan); 5,243 (Republic of Congo)
IDPs: 1.4 million (fighting between government forces and rebels since mid-1990s; most IDPs are in eastern provinces) (2007)
Congo, Republic of the refugees (country of origin): 46,341 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 6,564 (Rwanda)
IDPs: 48,000 (multiple civil wars since 1992; most IDPs are ethnic Lari) (2007)
Costa Rica refugees (country of origin): 9,699-11,500 (Colombia) (2007)
Cote d'Ivoire refugees (country of origin): 25,615 (Liberia)
IDPs: 709,000 (2002 coup; most IDPs are in western regions) (2007)
Croatia IDPs: 2,900-7,000 (Croats and Serbs displaced in 1992-95 war) (2007)
Cyprus IDPs: 210,000 (both Turkish and Greek Cypriots; many displaced for over 30 years) (2007)
Djibouti refugees (country of origin): 8,642 (Somalia) (2007)
Ecuador refugees (country of origin): 11,526 (Colombia); note - UNHCR estimates as many as 250,000 Columbians are seeking asylum in Ecuador, many of whom do not register as refugees for fear of deportation (2007)
Egypt refugees (country of origin): 60,000 - 80,000 (Iraq); 70,198 (Palestinian Territories); 12,157 (Sudan) (2007)
Eritrea IDPs: 32,000 (border war with Ethiopia from 1998-2000; most IDPs are near the central border region) (2007)
Ethiopia refugees (country of origin): 66,980 (Sudan); 16,576 (Somalia); 13,078 (Eritrea)
IDPs: 200,000 (border war with Eritrea from 1998-2000, ethnic clashes in Gambela, and ongoing Ethiopian military counterinsurgency in Somali region; most IDPs are in Tigray and Gambela Provinces) (2007)
Gabon refugees (country of origin): 7,178 (Republic of Congo) (2007)
Gambia, The refugees (country of origin): 5,955 (Sierra Leone) (2007)
Gaza Strip refugees (country of origin): 1.017 million (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)) (2007)
Georgia refugees (country of origin): 1,100 (Russia)
IDPs: 220,000-240,000 (displaced from Abkhazia and South Ossetia) (2007)
Ghana refugees (country of origin): 35,653 (Liberia); 8,517 (Togo) (2007)
Guatemala IDPs: undetermined (the UN does not estimate there are any IDPs, although some NGOs estimate over 200,000 IDPs as a result of over three decades of internal conflict that ended in 1996) (2007)
Guinea refugees (country of origin): 21,856 (Liberia); 5,259 (Sierra Leone); 3,900 (Cote d'Ivoire)
IDPs: 19,000 (cross-border incursions from Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone) (2007)
Guinea-Bissau refugees (country of origin): 7,454 (Senegal) (2007)
India refugees (country of origin): 77,200 (Tibet/China); 69,609 (Sri Lanka); 9,472 (Afghanistan)
IDPs: at least 600,000 (about half are Kashmiri Pandits from Jammu and Kashmir) (2007)
Indonesia IDPs: 200,000-350,000 (government offensives against rebels in Aceh; most IDPs in Aceh, Central Kalimantan, Central Sulawesi Provinces, and Maluku) (2007)
Iran refugees (country of origin): 914,268 (Afghanistan); 54,024 (Iraq) (2007)
Iraq refugees (country of origin): 10,000-15,000 (Palestinian Territories); 11,773 (Iran); 16,832 (Turkey)
IDPs: 2.4 million (ongoing US-led war and ethno-sectarian violence) (2007)
Israel IDPs: 150,000-420,000 (Arab villagers displaced from homes in northern Israel) (2007)
Jordan refugees (country of origin): 1,835,704 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)); 500,000 (Iraq)
IDPs: 160,000 (1967 Arab-Israeli War) (2007)
Kazakhstan refugees (country of origin): 3,700 (Russia); 508 (Afghanistan) (2007)
Kenya refugees (country of origin): 173,702 (Somalia); 73,004 (Sudan); 16,428 (Ethiopia)
IDPs: 250,000-400,000 (2007 post-election violence; KANU attacks on opposition tribal groups in 1990s) (2007)
Korea, North IDPs: undetermined (flooding in mid-2007 and famine during mid-1990s) (2007)
Kosovo IDP's: 21,000 (2007)
Lebanon refugees (country of origin): 405,425 (Palestinian refugees (UNRWA)); 50,000-60,000 (Iraq)
IDPs: 17,000 (1975-90 civil war, Israeli invasions); 200,000 (July-August 2006 war) (2007)
Liberia refugees (country of origin): 12,600 (Cote d'Ivoire)
IDPs: 13,000 (civil war from 1990-2004; IDP resettlement began in November 2004) (2007)
Libya refugees (country of origin): 8,000 (Palestinian Territories) (2007)
Macedonia IDPs: fewer than 1,000 (ethnic conflict in 2001) (2007)
Malaysia refugees (country of origin): 15,174 (Indonesia); 21,544 (Burma) (2007)
Maldives IDPs: 1,000-10,000 (December 2004 tsunami victims) (2007)
Mali refugees (country of origin): 6,300 (Mauritania) (2007)
Mexico IDPs: 5,500-10,000 (government's quashing of Zapatista uprising in 1994 in eastern Chiapas Region) (2007)
Montenegro refugees (country of origin): 7,000 (Kosovo); note - mostly ethnic Serbs and Roma who fled Kosovo in 1999
IDPs: 16,192 (ethnic conflict in 1999 and riots in 2004) (2007)
Namibia refugees (country of origin): 4,700 (Angola) (2007)
Nepal refugees (country of origin): 107,803 (Bhutan); 20,153 (Tibet/China)
IDPs: 50,000-70,000 (remaining from ten-year Maoist insurgency that officially ended in 2006; displacement spread across the country) (2007)
Nigeria refugees (country of origin): 5,778 (Liberia)
IDPs: undetermined (communal violence between Christians and Muslims since President OBASANJO's election in 1999; displacement is mostly short-term) (2007)
Pakistan refugees (country of origin): 1,043,984 (Afghanistan)
IDPs: undetermined (government strikes on Islamic militants in South Waziristan); 34,000 (October 2005 earthquake; most of those displaced returned to their home villages in the spring of 2006) (2007)
Papua New Guinea refugees (country of origin): 10,177 (Indonesia) (2007)
Peru IDPs: 60,000-150,000 (civil war from 1980-2000; most IDPs are indigenous peasants in Andean and Amazonian regions) (2007)
Philippines IDPs: 300,000 (fighting between government troops and MILF and Abu Sayyaf groups) (2007)
Russia IDPs: 18,000-160,000 (displacement from Chechnya and North Ossetia) (2007)
Rwanda refugees (country of origin): 46,272 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 4,400 (Burundi) (2007)
Saudi Arabia refugees (country of origin): 240,015 (Palestinian Territories) (2007)
Senegal refugees (country of origin): 19,630 (Mauritania)
IDPs: 22,400 (approximately 65% of the IDP population returned in 2005, but new displacement is occurring due to clashes between government troops and separatists in Casamance region) (2007)
Serbia refugees (country of origin): 71,111 (Croatia); 27,414 (Bosnia and Herzegovina); 206,000 (Kosovo), note - mostly ethnic Serbs and Roma who fled Kosovo in 1999 (2007)
Sierra Leone refugees (country of origin): 27,311 (Liberia) (2007)
Solomon Islands IDPs: 5,400 (displaced by tsunami on 2 April 2007) (2007)
Somalia IDPs: 1.1 million (civil war since 1988, clan-based competition for resources) (2007)
South Africa refugees (country of origin): 10,772 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 7,818 (Somalia); 5,759 (Angola) (2007)
Sri Lanka IDPs: 460,000 (both Tamils and non-Tamils displaced due to long-term civil war between the government and the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)) (2007)
Sudan refugees (country of origin): 157,220 (Eritrea); 25,023 (Chad); 11,009 (Ethiopia); 7,895 (Uganda); 5,023 (Central African Republic)
IDPs: 5.3 - 6.2 million (civil war 1983-2005; ongoing conflict in Darfur region) (2007)
Syria refugees (country of origin): 1-1.4 million (Iraq); 522,100 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA))
IDPs: 305,000 (most displaced from Golan Heights during 1967 Arab-Israeli War) (2007)
Tanzania refugees (country of origin): 352,640 (Burundi); 127,973 (Democratic Republic of the Congo) (2007)
Thailand refugees (country of origin): 132,241 (Burma) (2007)
Timor-Leste IDPs: 100,000 (2007)
Togo refugees (country of origin): 5,000 (Ghana)
IDPs: 1,500 (2007)
Turkey IDPs: 1-1.2 million (fighting 1984-99 between Kurdish PKK and Turkish military; most IDPs in southeastern provinces) (2007)
Turkmenistan refugees (country of origin): 11,173 (Tajikistan); less than 1,000 (Afghanistan) (2007)
Uganda refugees (country of origin): 215,700 (Sudan); 28,880 (Democratic Republic of Congo); 24,900 (Rwanda)
IDPs: 1.27 million (350,000 IDPs returned in 2006 following ongoing peace talks between the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) and the Government of Uganda) (2007)
United States refugees (country of origin): the US admitted 62,643 refugees during FY04/05 including; 10,586 (Somalia); 8,549 (Laos); 6,666 (Russia); 6,479 (Cuba); 3,100 (Haiti); 2,136 (Iran) (2006)
Uzbekistan refugees (country of origin): 39,202 (Tajikistan); 1,060 (Afghanistan)
IDPs: 3,400 (forced population transfers by government from villages near Tajikistan border) (2007)
West Bank refugees (country of origin): 722,000 (Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA)) (2007)
World the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimated that in December 2006 there was a global population of 8.8 million registered refugees and as many as 24.5 million IDPs in more than 50 countries; the actual global population of refugees is probably closer to 10 million given the estimated 1.5 million Iraqi refugees displaced throughout the Middle East (2007)
Yemen refugees (country of origin): 91,587 (Somalia) (2007)
Zambia refugees (country of origin): 42,565 (Angola); 60,874 (Democratic Republic of the Congo); 4,100 (Rwanda) (2007)
Zimbabwe refugees (country of origin): 2,500 (Democratic Republic of Congo)
IDPs: 569,685 (MUGABE-led political violence, human rights violations, land reform, and economic collapse) (2007)
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