Refugee

Refugees in 2017[1]
Total population
c. 25.4 million
(19.9 million under UNHCR's mandate and 5.4 million under UNRWA's mandate; the total number of forcibly displaced persons is 68.5 million)
Regions with significant populations
Africa6.236 million
Europe6.088 million
Asia and the Pacific4.153 million
Middle East and North Africa2.653 million
Americas484,261

A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely (for more detail see legal definition). Such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or the UNHCR[2] if they formally make a claim for asylum.[3]The lead international agency coordinating refugee protection is the United Nations Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The United Nations have a second Office for refugees, the UNRWA, which is solely responsible for supporting the large majority of Palestinian refugees.[4]

Etymology and usage

Although similar terms in other languages have described an event marking large scale migration of a specific population from a place of origin, such as the biblical account of Israelites fleeing from Assyrian conquest (circa 740 BCE), in English, the term refugee derives from the root word refuge, from Old French refuge, meaning "hiding place". It refers to "shelter or protection from danger or distress", from Latin fugere, "to flee", and refugium, "a taking [of] refuge, place to flee back to". In Western history, the term was first applied to French Huguenots, after the Edict of Fontainebleau (1540), who again migrated from France after the Edict of Nantes revocation (1685).[citation needed] The word meant "one seeking asylum", until around 1914, when it evolved to mean "one fleeing home", applied in this instance to civilians in Flanders heading west to escape fighting in World War I.[5]

Other Languages
العربية: لاجئ
ܐܪܡܝܐ: ܓܘܣܢܐ
asturianu: Refuxáu
azərbaycanca: Qaçqın
تۆرکجه: قاچقین
বাংলা: শরণার্থী
Bân-lâm-gú: Lān-bîn
беларуская: Бежанцы
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Бежанцы
български: Бежанец
català: Refugiat
čeština: Uprchlík
Cymraeg: Ffoadur
dansk: Flygtning
Deutsch: Flüchtling
eesti: Pagulane
Ελληνικά: Πρόσφυγας
español: Refugiado
Esperanto: Rifuĝinto
euskara: Iheslari
فارسی: پناهجو
føroyskt: Flóttafólk
français: Réfugié
Gaeilge: Dídeanaí
galego: Refuxiado
한국어: 난민
հայերեն: Փախստականներ
हिन्दी: शरणार्थी
hrvatski: Izbjeglica
Bahasa Indonesia: Pengungsi
íslenska: Flóttamaður
italiano: Rifugiato
עברית: פליט
къарачай-малкъар: Къачхынчыла
kaszëbsczi: Ùchódnik
қазақша: Босқын
Kiswahili: Mkimbizi
kurdî: Penaber
latviešu: Bēgļi
lietuvių: Pabėgėlis
Limburgs: Vlöchteling
magyar: Menekült
Nederlands: Vluchteling
नेपाली: शरणार्थी
日本語: 難民
norsk: Flyktning
norsk nynorsk: Flyktning
occitan: Refugiat
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ជនភៀសខ្លួន
polski: Uchodźca
português: Refugiado
Qaraqalpaqsha: Qashqınlar
română: Refugiat
Runa Simi: Ayqiq
русский: Беженцы
саха тыла: Куотуу дьоннор
Simple English: Refugee
slovenčina: Utečenec (osoba)
slovenščina: Begunec
Soomaaliga: Qaxooti
српски / srpski: Избеглица
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Izbjeglice
suomi: Pakolainen
svenska: Flykting
தமிழ்: ஏதிலி
Türkçe: Mülteci
українська: Біженці
Tiếng Việt: Tị nạn
中文: 难民