Global overview of asylum in 2019

EASO Asylum Report 2020
Section 1. Global overview of asylum in 2019
To provide context for developments in the field of asylum in Europe, Section 1 presents a global
overview of forced displacement and the need for protection worldwide. The section covers recent
           
to larg e refugee movements. Two topics which have gained attention over recent years in the
global context are addressed: statelessness an d the emerging phenomenon o f displacement due
to environmental reasons, which falls outside of the EU acquis. A glimpse at the broader landscape
helps to set the scene for trends in asylum in the European Union which unfolded in 2019.
Forced displacement due to conflict, persecution, human rights violations, natural disasters and
degrading ecosystems is a reality for millions of people across the globe who flee their homes in search
of security for themselves and their families. Those seeking protection find refuge either within their
home country or by crossing international borders.
Official statistics distinguish between two groups of forcibly displaced persons: a) refugees and asylum
seekers who have crossed international borders; and b) internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are
displaced within t heir own country. The 1951 Refugee Convention provides the common definition
for the first group as           -founded fear of being
persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or
 1 and crossed an international border to seek safety.
There is no internationally-agreed legal definition for IDPs, even though guidelines exist, according to
which IDPs are "persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their
homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of
armed conflict, situations of generalised violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-
made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally-recognised s .2 As such, IDPs
legally fall under the jurisdiction of their own government and relevant national and international
Both refugees and IDPs find themselves in need of substantial material and psycho-social support,
often facing challenges to receive, access and effectively benefit from such support. Apart from
emergency responses and short- to medium-term arrangements, countries struggle to find durable
solutions. Voluntary repatriation of forcibly displaced individuals (including asylum seekers, refugees
and IDPs), which c an be considered to be the preferred long -term outcome, is at times not possible
due to the persistence of the original c auses of di splacement, such as a lack of political solutions to
protracted conflicts and recurrent violence in the country of origin.3
A number of events a round the world have resulted in major displacements over the past few years
due t o conflict (Afghanistan, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia,
South Sudan a nd Syria), ongoing widespread, systematic, grave human rights violations (Myanmar/
Rohingya) and severe political instability and economic hardship (Venezuela).4

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