what is a refugee where do they come from why where do they go

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What is a refugee? Where do they come from? Why? Where do they go?

ref·u·gee . refyo͝oˈjē/


  1. a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.

“tens of thousands of refugees fled their homes”


émigré, fugitive, exile, displaced person, asylum seeker;

boat people

“collecting blankets for the refugees”

Some more definitions:

Internally Displaced Person (IDP) = someone who has fled their homeplace (village, town, city) but is still in their country of origin. See: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/internally-displaced-people.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Source Country = The country that is producing refugees.

Host County = The county that ‘hosts’ refugees (houses them in camps, or integrates them into society, or detains them in centers…).

Some Excellent Sources to start your search:

UN Convention and Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/protection/basic/3b66c2aa10/convention-protocol-relating-status-refugees.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

UNHCR Refugee Figures at a Glance: http://www.unhcr.org/en-us/figures-at-a-glance.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR): http://www.unhcr.org/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/refugees-asylum-seekers-and-migrants/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

International Rescue Committee: https://www.rescue.org/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Refugees and asylum seekers in BBC News: https://www.bbc.com/news/topics/cg41ylwvxmdt/refugees-and-asylum-seekers (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

CNN Syrian crisis: https://www.cnn.com/specials/middleeast/syria (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

The World Bank: Refugees by country or territory of asylum: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SM.POP.REFG?view=chart (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Guidelines for Post #1

Peruse some of the above websites about refugees. There are definitions of refugees, and maps of refugee movement around the world. There are articles, videos, stats, and descriptions of the projects/work of humanitarian orgs that are helping refugees.

Hone in on a topic, a theme, or a particular group of refugees that interests you. Syrian refugees are many in number these days. But don’t all pick Syrians. The Rohingya of Myanmar are in terrible condition. See: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-41566561 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. Afghanis, South Sudanese, and Somalians, along with Syrians and Rohingya are the 5 major refugee groups at the moment. See: https://www.mercycorps.org/articles/worlds-5-biggest-refugee-crises (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

You’ll find refugees from all over the world, and they move all over the world. Some walk across borders and live in camps. Others are resettled by refugee agencies in what we call ‘3rd country resettlement’ programs.

Start with one article or film on a group of refugees, or some aspect of refugee aid, or even feel free to discuss a cause of refugee movement. Cite that link (include it in your post). Then, find 2 more links, articles, videos on that same topic. These sources can be among the resources/links I provided above, or ones of your choosing. Also include those links in your post.

Write a 2 page (500-word) post about your topic, or chosen refugee group.

1st paragraph: about half a page if you are double-spacing your writing. Introduce your topic or your group of refugees. Why did you choose this topic or this group of refugees? What was it that drew you to it?

2nd paragraph: another half a page, give a quick summary of what you learned. Just some of the major facts about your topic.

NOTE: As you read the articles and films and learn more about your topic, what is it that fascinates you? Is there anything that gives rise to more questions? Has anything horrified you, saddened you…? Puzzled you? I want you to write in the 1st person, ‘I learned…..’ or ‘I thought it was fascinating to learn that…..’. What resonates with you?

3rd paragraph: another half a page. Did any of the sources you used give any hope for the refugees or the topic you chose? Are refugees being granted asylum? Are they languishing in camps with few resources and nothing to do? Or not? Do you feel hopeful or more desperation about the refugee situation?

4th paragraph: another half page. Reiterate your topic, a few quick facts, your major learnings/understandings, and any ‘concluding’ statement you have about the exercise.

Write 1 (one) response to a classmate’s post. Your response should be about 175-200 words (about3/4 page).


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