World Refugee Day: What does the UK really do? 

Today (20th June) marks the global day for Refugee awareness, acceptance and appreciation. It is a day where we can reflect on what it means to be forced out of your home, village, town, city and country. 

Some definitions:

Refugee:  a person who is outside of their country or state because they have well-founded reason to believe they are not safe and could be persecuted due to their race/religion/nationality/gender/sexual orientation/political orientation. 

Asylum seeker: someone who has left their country as a political refugee and is seeking asylum somewhere else. 

Immigrant: someone who comes to live in another country permanently.

Migrant: someone who moves to another country for better living standards or chances of work. 

What do you think the UK should be doing to help refugees in crisis? Do you think we do too much or too little? Here’s the facts. 

  1. There are approximately 60 million refugees in the world. Right now. Just let that sink in.
  2. There are approximately 126,000 refugees living in the UK right now, that’s 0.19% of the total population (64.1 million).
  3. Hungary and Sweden both received 163,000 applications for asylum last year. Compared to 38,876 in the UK. 
  4. In September 2015, these were the exact figures on Syrian refugees in the UK.
  5. Over 100,000 Jewish people came to the UK during the Second  World War. 
  6. The UK has had refugees from Albania to Syria, Germany to Turkey. We have always helped out those in crisis. 
  7. The International Red Cross movement started in 1859, with Swiss businessman Henry Durant. Then in  1870, with increasing economic and political problems across the world, we stepped on board. 
  8. Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights says: 
  9. Asylum seekers do not come to the UK to claim benefits or a council house, they come for safety. Some of them live of as little as £5 a day. 


Photos from Google or the Refugee Council. 

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