Categories of Forcibly Displaced Persons
According to the United Nations, every minute 20 people leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. There are several categories of forcibly displaced persons:
Refugees flee their home and country for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Many refugees are in exile to escape the effects of natural or human-made disasters.
Asylum Seekers flee their homes as refugees do, but their claim to refugee status is not yet definitively evaluated in the country to which they fled.
Internally Displaced Persons have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.
Stateless Persons do not have a recognized nationality and do not belong to any country. Statelessness situations are usually caused by discrimination against certain groups. Their lack of identification — a citizenship certificate — can exclude them from access to important government services, including health care, education or employment.
Returnees are former refugees who return to their own countries or regions of origin after time in exile. Returnees need continuous support and reintegration assistance to ensure that they can rebuild their lives at home.
World Refugee Day is June 20. Let us remember the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of our refugee sisters and brothers. Let us stand in solidarity with them.
“It’s hypocrisy to call yourself a Christian and chase away a refugee or someone seeking help, someone who is hungry or thirsty, toss out someone who is in need of my help. If I say I am Christian, but do these things, I’m a hypocrite.” Pope Francis, 2016