An Overview: UNHCR Global Trends 2011

Today is World Refugee Day 2012 and it is also Refugee Week (18-24 June) in the UK. In light of this, and to continue to raise awareness of the importance of quality education in refugee situations, below are some key points from UNHCR's recently released Global Trends Report 2011. 

  • In 2011, 700, 000 more people than in 2010 were receiving assistance from UNHCR (either as refugees or Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)). 
  • The total of those forcibly displaced worldwide was 42.5 million.  
  • 7.1 million people were in protracted refugee situations (defined as 'one in which 25,000 or more refugees of the same nationality have been in exile for five years or longer in any given asylum country') by the end of 2011. This amounted to three quarters of the refugee population under UNHCR's protection (yet in some cases, education - particularly above primary level - is considered incompatible with refugee situations).
  • Pakistan was host to the largest number of refugees worldwide (1.7 million) at the end of 2011.
  • A concerning fact is that four-fifths of the world's refugees were hosted by developing countries - countries that often cannot achieve their own educational goals, therefore putting into perspective the educational struggles in refugee situations. However, it is perhaps important to note that in some cases refugees can be better off than the host community due to 'hand-outs' they get. 
  • Importantly in terms of education, 46% of the world's refugees were under 18 at the end of 2011.
  • The top five major source countries of refugees were Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, and DRC.
  • Voluntary repatriation remains the durable solution which has benefited the most refugees. The question needs to be asked if all of these repatriations have truly been voluntary however, or whether these refugees have had little choice e.g. because of camp closures. Also, in terms of education, the focus on repatriation can result in the reproduction of poor educational practice due to the focus upon using the home country curriculum.

Unless I've missed it, I couldn't see much mention of education in the report. To read the report in full, you can get it here.

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1 comment:

  1. Kathryn on LinkedIn:

    With 46% of the refugee population under the age of 18, education has to take precedence when developing programs and raising funds. The biggest problem, as I have observed in the field, is the lack of training for the host community (and refugee) teachers and education professionals (as mentioned in this discussion).

    I assume there are standards that all education professionals must achieve? Yes/No? So who is responsible for monitoring and evaluating those standards and practices?