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Great Migration Forum: The Situations


Afghans have sought refuge since the country's 1979 Soviet invasion and throughout the period of time when the Taliban controlled the government. Pakistan has served as a home for over a million refugees for nearly 40 years.  New tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan have resulted increased acts of terrorism and compelled the Pakistani government  to adopt a plan that strictly registers, follows, and often pressures Afghan residents to return home. 

Barker, Memphis. "Pakistan's Imran Khan Skirts Issue Of Afghan Refugees' Citizenship." the Guardian. N. p., 2018. Web. 5 Nov. 2018.

"Homecoming spleen: Afghan refugees in Pakistan." The Economist, Sep. 16, 2016. Gale in Context.


Rising sea levels threaten both island nations and coastal communities. Coastal and land erosion caused by melting permafrost has caused the displacement of native people living along the coastal lands of the Bearing Sea in Alaska. 


Algeria is deporting thousands of men, women and children to Niger and Mali.  Many are being abandoned in the Sahara desert where they are forced to walk in brutal conditions in hopes of seeking home.  

"Why Algeria Is Emptying Itself Of African Migrant Workers." Refugees. N. p., 2018. Web. 2 Nov. 2018.


Shifting weather patterns are leading to flooding and land erosion in Bangladesh that threaten the homes and livelihoods of coastal people in Bangladesh.  Refugees are forced inland to live in city slums and compete for scare jobs.  At the same time, Bangladesh hosts over 700,000 Myanmar refugees. This results in a crisis for the whole country.

Vidal, John. "'Boats Pass Over Where Our Land Was': Climate Refugees In Bangladesh | John Vidal." the Guardian. N. p., 2018.

Begum, Rasheda. "My house underwater." Women in Action, Aug. 2009. Gale in Context.

Central America's Northern Triangle

People from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras suffer frequent internal displacement and fear due to gang violence.  Both parents with young children and unaccompanied children flee threat of murder and forced gang recuitments.  The situation is exacerbated by drought and poor economic conditions.

Bermeo, Sarah. "Violence Drives Immigration From Central America." Brookings. N. p., 2018. Web. 5 Nov. 2018.

"U.N. says many Central Americans Need Refugee Status.Associated Press, 16 Jul 2014. Newsela.

Central African Republic

Violence in 2013 and again in 2016 forced thousands to seek refuge in neighboring countries, primarily Cameroon, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and South Sudan.  Then, the floods hit.

Kristof, Nicholas, and Lynsey Addario. "'Conflict Is More Profitable Than Peace'." New York Times, 25 Mar. 2018, p. 10(L). Gale in Context.

"Floods displace over 20,600 in C. African Republic." Anadolu Agency, Nov. 14, 2019. Gale in Context.

DR Congo

Despite the economic hardships and Ebola outbreaks, the government of the  Democratic Republic of the Congo has rejected humanitarian aid as "meddling" in the country's politics.  Poverty, along with civil unrest in eastern and southern regions has displaced approximately 4.5 million people.  Human rights violations are widespread.  At the same time, the Congo hosts nearly 1/2 million refugees from neighboring countries.  

"Congo-Brazzaville: Congolese Refugees Risk Infecting Neighboring Countries with Ebola.", 4 Aug. 2018. Global Issues in Context.

VIDEO: "Militias Are Burning Villages in Congo. We Tracked the Toll." Video Collection, 8 Mar. 2018. Student Resources In Context


The 20 year conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia resulted in the forced military conscription of all Eritrean men between the ages of 18 and 50.  Those fleeing this conscription most often fled to Ethiopian refugee camps. Eritrean refugees fear reprisal from the Eritrean government.  A peace deal between the countries offered no peace to many Eritrea refugees. Fleeing to the Sudan is equally problematic.

Hayden, Sally. "Between Sudan and a hard place." New Internationalist, Mar. 2018, p. 8. Global Issues in Context.


In the last 10 years, millions of people have sought refuge in the countries of Europe.   Many countries in Europe are responding to overwhelming refugee numbers by tightening policies. The recent closure of refugee camps that housed thousands has lead to a crisis situation for refugees in Europe.  

Apostolou, Nikolia. "Millions of Child Refugees Do No Attend School in Adopted Homeland." USA Today, 25 Oct 2018. Newsela.

"Europe's Struggle with Refugees." Youngzine, 5 Sep 2015. Kids InfoBits.

"Migrants ikn crisis: Stranded at Hungary train station; drowned near Turkey." Associated Press, adapted by Newsela, Sep. 7, 2015.

 "More Than A Thousand Refugees Suffering 'Inhumane' Living Conditions In Calais And Dunkirk, Warns UN." The Independent. N. p., 2018. 

"Refugee children making dangerous trip to safety in Europe Without Parents." Los Angeles Times, adapted by Newsela, Sep. 27, 2015.


A series of conflicts, as well as the American-led invasion and occupation of Iraq has culminated in the violence and insecurity that forces millions of people to flee Iraq.  These refugees have largely established themselves in urban areas around the globe.  

Arango, Tim. "Iraqi Migrants Leaving Europe, Dreams Unmet." New York Times, 05 Feb. 2016, pp. A.1. SIRS Issues Researcher

"Poverty and lack of services in Iraq force refugees back to the camps." Daily News Egypt [Egypt], 29 Apr. 2018. Global Issues in Context.

Islamic Republic of Iran

Iran hosts nearly 3 million Afghan refugees.  The country has been working closely with the UNHCR to develop progressive refugee policies.   Still, pressure from the U.S., internal dissatisfaction, and economic hardships make for a potential crisis situation for these refugees.

"The Precarious Lives Of Afghan Children In Iran." Refugees. N. p., 2018. Web. 2 Nov. 2018.


Kenya's open door policy towards refugees is a model for counties both in favor of and against such an approach.  The growing number of refugees means that sustained Kenyan support of these and it's own people are at risk.

"The Refugee Crisis You’Ve Never Heard Of – And Why It’S About To Get Worse." World Economic Forum. N. p., 2018. Web. 5 Nov. 2018.

"Forgotten Refugees in Kenya's Dadaab Camps Appeal for Dignity." AllAfrica, Nov. 18, 2019. Gale in Context.


The isolated country of Kiribati rising seas threaten to shrink a the land area that support nearly 100,000 residents.  Tuvalu, Fiji, and the Maldives face similar dilemmas.

Bowers, Mike. "Waiting For The Tide To Turn: Kiribati's Fight For Survival." the Guardian, 2017.  

Rhoden, Maddie. "Kiribati: The Face of Climate Change." iGeneration Youth, 29 Oct 2018. Newsela.


Lebanon opened it's door to refugees of the Syrian conflict.  This has resulted in a crisis of it's own.  On-going displacement of Syrians far outpaces the ability of Syrians to return home. Many Lebanese citizens are turning against the years long policy of asylum.  The Lebannese government is struggling with how to orchestrate Syrian return without endangering lives.  

"The Future Of The Syrian Refugee Crisis In Lebanon." N. p., 2018. Web. 5 Nov. 2018.

VIDEO: "Languishing in Lebanon." Video Collection, 23 Feb. 2013. Research in Context.


Rising seas are enveloping both coastal and island communities in Louisiana while sea water encroaches on freshwater industries of the bayou. 

Sack, Kevin, and John Schwartz. "Left To Louisiana’S Tides, A Village Fights For N. p., 2018

New Orleans Evacuees Integrate Their Culture into Houston Environment, The Guardian, 04 Jun 2017. Newsela.


Torture, slavery and exploitation of refugees in Libya has resulted in a crisis situation, with many fleeing despite dangerous pathways and unknown welcome in other destinations.  

Kingsley, Patrick. "Libya's People Smugglers." The Guardian, 21 May. 2015, pp. 20. SIRS Issues Researcher.

Meloni, Lorenzo, and Amanda Sakuma.   "How Libya Became The Gatekeeper Of Africa’s Migrant Crisis." MSNBC., 2018.  

Mozambique / Malawi

Civil wars have pushed Mozambique into desperate poverty and refugees flee their homes to escape violence and in search of work. Refugees from Mozambique, many of them children, suffer in the border settlement established in Luwani, Malawi. Residents are in dire need of food, living in a country who struggles to feed it's own population.

Essa, A., Furcoi, S. "Mozambican Refugees Stuck Between Somewhere and Nowhere." 2016.  

"The Squatters' Community of Mozambique's Grande Hotel Beira." BBC Worldwide Americas, Inc., 7 Feb. 2017. Global Issues in Context.


Violence, hostilities and human rights violations have forced citizens to flee Mali since 2012.  

"Malian Refugees Wanting to Return Home Face Difficult Choices.", Feb 23, 2013. Gale in Context

"E.U. Deportations Risk Further Destabilizing Mali." Refugees. N. p., 2018. Web. 2 Nov. 2018.

"Malians Need Protection as Country Descents into Chaos.", Aug 10, 2019. Gale in Context


Nigeria has hosted refugees from many countries, most recently Cameroon. Beginning in 2009, the Boko Haram, a militant terrorist group, began attacking female civilians and government officials.  Since that time, multinational troops from Nigeria, Niger, and Chad have engaged the group repeatedly.  The violence, at times targeting refugee camps in Nigeria, has pushed refugees over the border, into Cameroon.  In response, the Cameroon government has initiated a policy of "forced return," pushing Nigerian refugees back across the border.

"Cameroon's Forgotten Refugees in Nigeria." All Africa, 12 July 2018. Global Issues in Context.

Kingsley, Patrick. "The Small African Region With More Refugees Than All Of Europe." the Guardian. N. p., 2016. Web. 5 Nov. 2018.

Puerto Rico

Storms and failing Infrastructure in Puerto Rico has forced many victims in Puerto Rico to leave the island.  Many of them are relocating to Florida where they wait to be allowed home.  Without jobs, their prospects of being able to make that return and rebuild diminish.

"Aftermath of Hurricane Maria may be U.S. Preview of Climate-fueled Migration." Bloomberg News, 01 Oct 2017. Newsela

Shepherd, Marshall. "Are Hurricanes Creating Climate Refugees In The Caribbean?." Forbes. N. p., 2018.

Sutter, John D."They Fled Puerto Rico; Now They're 'Homeless'." CNN, 2018. 



Desertification (rising temperatures and water shortages) threaten large areas of the world, including Ningxia, China

Wong, Edward. "Resettling China’s ‘Ecological Migrants’." N. p., 2016.

Thailand's Stateless Refugees

Thailand has one of the world's largest stateless populations. They are the people who evacuated here during the Vietnam war.  They are also their children and grandchildren, born here without a nationality.  

Baynham, Jacob. "Seeking Citizenship: Thailand Holds Out Hope for Millions of.." Christian Science Monitor, 02 Feb. 2016. SIRS Issues Researcher.

South Africa

Refugees who have fled to South Africa are regularly subject to violent mistreatment.  In response, many refugees here are seeking resettlement by the United Nations. However, the process of resettlement is fraught with technicalities that delay and even deny these request.

SA must end xenophobia; Asylum-seekers and refugees face an uncertain future in this country.  The Sunday Independent (South Africa) Nov. 17, 2019. Gale in Context. 

Rohingyan of Myanmar

The Rohingya, from Myanmar, are a stateless nation of mostly Muslim descent.  The majority, mostly women and children, seek refuge in Bangladesh. 

Bangladesh hosts over 700,000 Myanmar refugees in what is now the worlds largest refugee camp. Refugees there struggle with inadequate supplies. 

"Fire Reduces Rohingya Camp To Ashes, Exposing India’s Refugee Policies." Refugees. N. p., 2018. 

"Government imposes restrictoins on Rohingya refugees." Country Report: Bangladesh, Oct, 31, 2019. Gale in Context.

"Myanmar: Who are the Rohingya?" Al Jazeera, 14 Sep 2017. Newsela.

South Sudan

Violence and poor conditions have forced more than 4 million Sudanese to flee their homes, a large majority of these under the age of 18.  Displaced persons seek refugee status primarily in Uganda, but elsewhere in Africa, as well. 

"UN condemns deadly ethnic violence in South Sudan refugee camp in Uganda." Xinhua News Agency, 21 June 2018. Global Issues in Context.

Jeffrey, James. "Gambella--Caught in limbo." New Africa, Mar., 2019. G. Gale in Context. 

Somalia Refugees

Two decades of civil war, along with drought, have pushed many Somalis to other parts of the world.  But recent changes in policy have closed doors once open to their plight.

"Somalia: Nauru Refugees From Somalia Rejected By U.S.", 8 May 2018. Global Issues in Context.


The on-going Syrian Civil War that broke out in 2011, has led to crisis for the civilian population of Syria.  The UN has identified 13.5 million Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance, 6 million who are internally displaced, and 5 millions who are residing as refugees outside of their country.  Turkey is the largest host country for refugees.  

Syria's Civil War Explained, Al Jazeera, adapted by Newsela, Feb. 21, 2017.

"The long road back; Syria's refugees." The Economist, 4 Aug. 2018, p. 41(US). Global Issues in Context.

VIDEO: "Step Into a Refugee Camp." Video Collection, 30 Dec. 2016. Research in Context.



Since 1974, Tanzania has kept it's doors open to refugees from Burundi, Rwanda, and the Congo, moving in 2007 to helping those refugees attain Tanzanian citizenship (naturalization). In 2017, Tanzania began to close it's door to new refugees, at the same time urging recent refugees from Burundia to return home.  They cited funding and security concerns as reasons for doing so.  

"'There Is Pressure On Us.' - Refugees in Tanzania Pushed to Return." All Africa, 21 Aug. 2018. Global Issues in Context.

"Tanzania to repatriate Burundian refugees." Country Report, Tanzania. Sep 3, 2019. Gale in Context.

Transit Countries

Transit countries (those considered "on the way" to a final destination) must often offer first response care to to refugees in dire need following dangerous journeys through hostile environments . These countries, -- Turkey, Greece and others -- are burdened  by the costs associated with providing this level of care.  This burden is impacting policy.

"‘Transit’ Countries Get Tough On Refugees." N. p., 2015.  

"Leaving Parents Behind, Making a Hazardous Journey to Europe." Los Angeles Times, 27 Sep 2015. Newsela


While on-going civil conflict forced more than 2 million Ukrainians to seek asylum in neighboring countries, the 2017 cease fire did not result in a more tolerant country.  Refugees seeking to enter the Ukraine are warned that there are few protections for refugees in this now largely militarized country.

"Ukraine unsafe for refugees - human rights activists." Ukraine General, 26 Apr. 2018. Global Issues in Context,


More than 2.3 million Venezuelan nationals have fled gang warfare, civil violence, and economic conditions, straining surrounding host countries.  Because these asylum seekers do not neatly conform to established definitions of "refugee," many are denied refugee status and forced to return.

"Greater support needed for refugees from Venezuela." United News of India (UNI) [New Delhi, India], 24 Aug. 2018. Global Issues in Context.

United States

In recent years, fears of the violence that surrounds drug cartels in Central America have driven the call for stricter boarder control. Under the Trump administration, that call has been translated into stricter entry policies and a move to detain and deport immigrants who have entered the country illegally, regardless of age or claim to asylum.  This tightening of control has made immigration one of the most contentious issues in todays political climate.

"Looking Past Outrage And Violence To See The Border." Refugees. N. p., 2018. Web. 2 Nov. 2018.

VIDEO: "Refugees Flee the U.S. to Canada for Safety." Local Broadcast Video Content, 16 May 2017. Student Resources In Context.

West Africa's Stateless Refugees

A person is stateless when they are denied citizenship by any nation.  They are often deemed illegal in their country of birth and denied documents that would allow for state services. This severely limits the protection of their human rights.  At least 750,000 people in West Africa have been denied a nationality.  Descended from colonial-era migrants, nomadic farmers, and populations split by arbitrary colonial borders or transfer of sovereignty, these refugees have no place to call home or return to.

Manby, Browen. "Who Belongs? Statelessness And Nationality In West Africa.", 2016.

"West Africans Constitute 40% of 70 Million Global Refugees.", Jul 8, 2019. Gale in Context.


Two million people from Yemen have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, with 20 million remaining in need of humanitarian assistance.  Despite this crisis, refugees from surrounding countries continue to come into Yemen from Somalia

"Houthi terror group's targeting Yemen refugee camp condemned." Bahrain News Agency, 11 Oct. 2018. Global Issues in Context.

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