Bleak future for displaced groups

September, 2016
By Dr Andrea Charron, Deputy-Director, Centre for Defence and Security Studies, University of Manitoba

The following article is part of the SFG publication “Big Questions of Our time: The World Speaks”. To access the full publication please click here.


As of 2014, over 59 million people in the world have been forcibly removed from their homes. 

The sheer number of refugees, internally displaced persons and asylum seekers world-wide will be a continuous source of instability and conflict for generations to come because 

1) few are ever able to return home and 

2) children below 18 years represent half of the refugee population. 

The top “host” countries (Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon, Islamic Republic of Iran, Ethiopia and Jordan) are hardly models of stability. The displaced populations are at an extreme disadvantage and their presence often breeds contempt and xenophobia in the host country.  

Displacement and instability seems to benefit only the human smugglers.  A lucky few are able to resettle but many are unable to do so legally –left to survive in the shadows and black markets of the world. 

How to deal with this growing crisis is the big question of our time.

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