Monday, June 26, 2023

Where Do Refugees Go?

Last year 35.5 million people (equivalent to over half the population of the UK) were forced to flee their homes and find refuge elsewhere. For World Refugee Day Al Jazeera took a closer look at where refugees come from and where they go. 

Visualizing the Global Flow of 35 Million Refugees is illustrated with two interactive maps: one showing the countries where refugees originated from last year, and the other showing the countries where refugees settled. Both maps are simple and effective, using proportional circles to show the number of refugees fleeing or entering each country and linear annotations to highlight the six countries most affected.

Where do refugees come from?

According to the UN data used for Al Jazeera's 'Where do refugees come from?' map Syria, Palestine, Ukraine, Afghanistan, Venezuela and South Sudan were the six countries where the most people were forced to leave their homes in 2022. 

In recent years in many so called 'first world' countries immigration has become a key issue, with right-wing 'populist' politicians attempting to use immigration as a handy scapegoat for falling living standards. Al Jazeera's map showing where refugees settle clearly shows that 'first world' countries, far from being swamped by refugees, are in fact mostly shirking any responsibility for housing the world's displaced and dispossessed.

Where do refugees settle?

Al Jazeera's map shows that America took in about 1/7th on the number of refugees housed by Colombia last year. In fact in 2022 the USA accepted less refugees than Colombia, Peru, Chile and Ecuador. Globally Turkey, Jordan and Iran were the three countries who took in the most refugees in 2022.

Some in the West might argue that it is not their responsibility to shelter the world's huddled masses. In fact you don't have to be much of a political historian to realize that from Palestine to Syria the geopolitical activities of 'first world' countries have played significant contributions to the displacement of innocent people from their homes, forcing them to become refugees. 

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