This is a human crisis that requires a humane response

In 1951, the United Nations (UN) law, Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, said a refugee was a person who is forced to leave their country due to natural disasters or war and conflict

Owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail him/herself of the protection of that country.
A refugee is a person who has to leave his or her country. This means they do not receive refugee status until they have left their home country and have reached a "country of first asylum."  This can be because of different reasons:
  • It is no longer safe to stay, there might be a natural disaster such as flood or famine, war, or civil unrest
  • There might be persecutions going on.
  • The person is unable to sustain himself or herself economically.
  • The person might have been expelled
  • The person might have to leave for religious reasons

As of 2015 statistics, More than half (54%) of all refugees worldwide came from just three countries: the Syrian Arab Republic (4.9 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), and Somalia (1.1 million).

Where do refugees resettled in the U.S. come from?

The Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Myanmar, Iraq and Somalia were the top countries of origin for refugees entering the United States in 2016, representing over 70 percent of the total number.

About 46 percent of all refugees coming to the United States were Muslim, while a slightly lower share (44 percent) were Christian.

Where do most refugees resettle? 

1. Turkey (2.5 million) 2. Pakistan (1.6 million) 3. Lebanon (1.1 million) 4. Islamic Rep. of Iran (979,400) 5. Ethiopia (736,100) 6. Jordan (664,100)

Data obtained from UNHCR