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  1. ITV Report

Everything you need to know about World Refugee Day

With no other option many refugees resort fleeing their homes on often hugely over-crowded boats. Credit: AP

Every year millions of people are forcibly displaced from their home as a result of persecution, conflict, or violence and World Refugee Day is held to commemorate their bravery, courage and resilience.

It was first observed in 2001 to highlight the responsibility of countries to grant asylum to refugees but by the end of 2017 the world's forcibly displaced population was at a record high - 68.2 million people.

This year's World Refugee Day comes as America announced it was pulling out of the United Nations Council of Human Rights (UNCHR), a group whose role includes protecting refugees.

This, coupled with the growing number of conflicts worldwide, means the the following statistics from last year could be eclipsed in 2018.

  • The facts and statistics
The now destroyed Calais Jungle was a European hub for refugees trying to reach Britain. Credit: AP

The US was the world’s largest recipient of new individual asylum applications (331,700), however with it no longer a member of the UNCHR next year more applications may be directed elsewhere.

Turkey is the world's leader when it comes to hosting refugees. For the fourth consecutive year in 2017 it hosted the largest number for any country worldwide, 3.5 million people.

In Lebanon one in six people are a refugee, making it the country with the highest number of refugees relative to its national population.

In 2017 two thirds of all refugees worldwide came from just five countries, Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia - all currently experiencing social unrest.

Relative to its population, Lebanon hosts more refugees than any other country. Credit: PA

Nearly five million people were allowed to return to their area or country of origin however this number has by no means kept pace with the rate of new displacements.

Around half of all refugees worldwide are children and around 173,800 are either displaced or separated from their families.

There were 44,400 new displacements every day in 2017 and by the end of the year, 3.1 million people were awaiting a decision on their application for asylum.

  • What is a refugee?
There are more refugees from Syria than from any other country in the world. Credit: AP

While refugee is the most common term to describe forcibly displaced people there are several categories that define people who have fled their home.

A refugee, according to the United Nations is a person who fled their home due to "a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion".

Asylum seekers are refugees who have fled their homes however their claim to refuge has not yet been granted in the country to which they fled.

Stateless persons are people who do not have a recognised nationality and do not belong to any country meaning they are often excluded from access to important government services, including health care, education or employment.

Rohingya Muslims living in Myanmar are an example of stateless people. Credit: PA

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are people who have not crossed an international border but have moved to a different region than the one they call home within their own country.

Returnees are former refugees who return to their own countries or regions of origin after time in exile.