The World's Largest Refugee Crisis on Record
The 2017 Sunhak Peace Prize seeks for a peaceful solution to the "refugee crisis." The world is now witnessing the highest levels of forced migration ever recorded. In 2015 alone, UNHCR reported over 12.4 million people worldwide displaced internally, and overall, more than 65 million people were forced to flee their homes due to conflict, violence, persecution, and other human rights violations.
Today, facing the largest refugee crisis since World War II, we must not forget that these are mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters, no different from ourselves. It is important to recognize the inherent value in all of us as human beings. We must not turn away from the cries of people grieving the loss of their loved ones at sea, or devastated by having lost their homes and family members. It is our hope that through international solidarity and cooperation, refugees may once again enjoy peaceful lives in their own homes.
The greatest global forced migration in history, 65.3 million
The recently published UNHCR Global Trends Report finds that at the end of 2015, the number of people experiencing forced migration worldwide was at 65.3 million. It is the first time in the organization’s history that the 60 million threshold had been crossed, and indicates that one in every 113 people globally is now an asylum-seeker, internally displaced or a refugee. This is the largest total UNHCR has ever recorded, and highlights the fact that it is an urgent crisis facing humanity.
Why the refugee numbers have massively increased
There are three major causes for the dramatic upsurge in the refugee population during the last five years. Firstly, the civil war-like conditions in Somalia and Afghanistan that have persisted for 30 years and 40 years respectively, have yet to see any signs of closure. Secondly, though the Syrian civil war, the world's single-largest driver of displacement in recent history, has received the most attention, there have been frequent violent disputes during the past 5 years in other countries as well, including South Sudan, Yemen, Burundi, Ukraine, and the Central African Republic. Thirdly, a stable solution is yet to be found for refugees and internally displaced persons in the 21st Century.
2017 Sunhak Peace Prize Laureates