Agence France Presse
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND: Conflicts, violence and persecution in Myanmar, South Sudan, Syria and elsewhere have forced more than 2 million people to flee as refugees this year, the United Nations refugee chief Filippo Grandi said Monday.
At the end of 2016, a record 65.6 million people had been uprooted from their homes worldwide, with 22.5 million of them registered as refugees. Since August, 50,000 refugees had flooded out of South Sudan and another 18,000 had fled clashes in the Central African Republic, he said.
War-ravaged Syria continues to account for the world’s largest number of forcibly displaced people, with civilians there still bearing the brunt of clashes.
At the U.N. refugee agency’s annual Executive Committee meeting in Geneva Grandi warned that refugee rights and protection were eroding worldwide, including in Europe and the United States.
“Border closures ... restrictive asylum procedures, indefinite detention in appalling conditions, offshore processing, pressure for premature returns all have regrettably proliferated,” he said.
“Close to 1.2 million refugees need resettling,” he said, voicing “major concern that fewer than 100,000 resettlement places are expected to be available this year.”