World Refugee Day Refugees Gathered For A Picnic
Refugees who had to flee their homes due to wars and occupations gathered in Belgrade Forest on the World Refugee Day, in Istanbul. Around 200 refugees from Iraq, Palestine, Chechnya, East Turkistan,
Turkey 21.06.2010

42 Million Refugees Are In Search For A New Country 

Seeking asylum in Turkey, refugees are currently living under harsh conditions. The picnic has been a recreational activity for raising their morale. Refugees have performed their own folkloric dances in the picnic area. Refugee children had their fun with games.  

Refugees noted that they do not want the concern for refugee issue to be limited to only one day a year, World Refugee Day, their representative said “We need to be given our basic rights such as official refugee status and citizenship rights, working permits and educational rights. We are people living here just like everyone else. We want to have proper identities.” 

Yasar Kutluay, Vice President of IHH, informed the public about the Refugee Report prepared by the Foundation. Collaborated and published into a book by IHH, the Refugee Report explains the situation facing millions of refugees who had to flee their homes because of wars and occupations. Here are a few details from the Report: 

There are 18,000 people recorded with refugee status 

In year 2008, the number of displaced people reached 42 million. 26 million people had to flee their homes and forced to move to another place within the same country, whereas 16 million people went to other countries seeking asylum. There are 18,000 refugees living in Turkey. The numbers go off the roof if those unrecorded refugees are taken into account as well.  

Thousands of women and children died during their journey when seeking asylum 

Transmigrations resulted in tragic deaths of thousands of women and children. Some of them lost their lives into giant waves of the ocean, some died in the Saharan sands. None of those people had a chance to return to the previous state of their lives. Most of those people could not see their homelands ever again.  

Most do not survive the hardships of the journey of hope 

For those people who flee their homes to seek refuge in another country, there is always the risk of encountering organ theft networks and people smugglers during their journey of hope. They also face a lot of other problems during their transportation such as risk of death on container trucks and boats fully packed with people with very little air. Every year, there are incidents like these happening all around the world. 

Alarming rise in refugee numbers 

Two thirds of refugees all around the world are of Middle Eastern and African origin. 

Palestine: In year 1948, number of refugees from Palestine was 914,000. That was not the end of their dreaded story of displacement. Today, 5,600,000 Palestinians are still in search of a new home. In Syria, Lebanon and Jordan there are refugee cities, in which the third generation of displaced Palestinians are living. A remarkable number of those still lives in tents.

In Syria, there are 10 refugee camps with 413,827 registered refugees of Palestinian origin. 120,685 of those refugees still live in tents.

In Jordan, there are 10 camps and over 1,740,000 registered refugees. 307,785 of those live in refugee camps.

In Lebanon, there are 12 refugee camps with 223,956 inhabitants. The total number of registered refugees exceeds 394,532.

In West Bank, there are 19 refugee camps with 179,000 inhabitants. 665,246 is the total number of registered refugees.

In Gaza, there are 8 camps in which 484,563 people are currently struggling to survive. The total number of registered refugees exceeds 922,674.  

Iraq: Over 4,500,000 people fled their country since the invasion by the U.S.. 2,000,000 people have also been displaced because of the war and moved to other parts of the country. 

Pakistan: 2,500,000 people have become refugees within their own country because of the social unrest and armed conflicts.  

Afghanistan: Over 4,100,000 Afghani refugees are currently living in other countries such as Iran and Pakistan. 1,500,000 people also fled their homes and moved to other parts of the country.  

Saudi Arabia: Around 600,000 Arakanese refugees currently live in Saudi Arabia. Besides, there are refugees from East Turkistan, Uzbekistan, Sri Lanka and a lot of other Asian countries living in Saudi Arabia. 

East Turkistan: More than 2,000,000 Uighurs are now refugees. 

Uzbekistan: Because of the political oppression and economic problems over 1,000,000 Uzbeks have moved to other countries. 

Sudan: There are 700,000 Eritrean refugees currently living in Kassala region. In Darfur, over 2,000,000 people are displaced. Also in Khartoum and in surrounding regions, there are over 1,000,000 people who migrated from Southern Sudan. 

Somalia: Because of the armed conflicts, over 1,000,000 people have been displaced within the country and there is also a large number of Somali population living in other countries.  

Sri Lanka: Because of the civil war, more than 600,000 people had to move to other parts of the country. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina: None of 400,000 Bosnians who fled their homes during the war have been able to return back to their homes yet.  

Chechnya: Because of the ongoing war in Chechnya over 400,000 people have been displaced. 

Azerbaijan: 1,000,000 people have left the region because of Nagorno-Karabakh War. Also, there is a large number of Meskhetian Turks and Chechen refugees in the country. 

Bangladesh: Over 600,000 Arakanese who have been displaced because of the political oppression by the military regime in Burma are currently living in Bangladesh. Around 500,000 Bihari refugees are also living in Bangladesh. 

Arakan: 2 million Arakanese people, total population of whom is 4 million, fled their homes because of the political oppression in Burma, seeking refuge in other countries such as Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Malaysia and Pakistan.  

According to IHH’s report, the biggest and most concentrated movement of refugees occurs in Middle Eastern countries due to the crisis in Iraq and Palestine.  

12% of refugees die on their journey of hope while searching for a new home 

The Refugee Report states that 12% of those who have to flee their homes in search for a new hope to continue their lives lose their lives during the journey of hope and around 20% disappear. 

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