One person is forcibly displaced every 2 seconds as a result of conflict or persecution. A refugee is a displaced person who has been forced to flee their country of residence in order to escape war or persecution, to cross national borders, and cannot return home safely. Persons may be listed as asylum seekers by a contracting state or UNHCR until refugee status is granted.

2018 witnessed the highest number of displaced persons in recorded history – 70.8 million people around the world have been forced to flee their country of residence through no fault of their own. Of the 70.8 million displaced, some 30 million refugees, half of whom were tender-age children and children under the age of 18. Fifty-seven percent of UNHCR-designated refugees came from three countries: Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan.

There are also millions of stateless people who have been denied nationality, access to education, healthcare, employment, and freedom of movement. One example of this is the Rohingya people.

World Refugee Day is observed on June 20th.