Around 70.8 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations in 2018, according to a UN refugee agency report. This is the highest number that the UN has reported regarding the refugee crisis to date.
While the global refugee population has exceeded the previous year's estimate by 2.3 million, this year's Global Trends report indicates that the total number of refugees worldwide exceeds the population of Thailand. It also stated that 37,000 people were forced to flee their homes every day in 2018.
Similar to last year's data, children accounted for every second refugee in the world, accounting up to half of the total refugee population in 2018. Around 111,000 children were alone and without their families. Uganda reported that around 2,800 refugee children aged five or below or separated from their families.
The report highlighted the recent political crisis in Venezuela as a major concern, according to the UN body. It cited the estimate of four million Venezuelans who have left their country and attributed it as the world's biggest current displacement crisis.
More than 67 per cent of all refugees worldwide came from five countries: Syrian Arab Republic (6.7 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), South Sudan (2.3 million), Myanmar (1.1 million) and Somalia (0.9 million)
It revealed over half a million new refugee registrations and asylum applications had originated from the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) in 2018. People from Venezuela accounted for the second-largest new international displacements in 2018 with 341,800 asylum applications. These were followed by Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and South Sudan as well as the massive flow of Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh at the end of 2017.
As the language around refugees and migrants are often divisive, the UN High Commissioner for Refugee Filippo Grandi said, "generosity and solidarity by communities who are hosting a large number of refugees need to be acknowledged."
The report suggested that one-third of the total global refugee population (6.7 million people) were in the least developed countries while developed countries hosted 16 per cent of refugees.
In India, 195,891 refugees resided in the country with 11,967 pending cases of asylum seekers, last year.
Due to the Rohingya refugee crisis, Bangladesh hosted 906,600 people from Myanmar in 2018. Other countries with sizable populations of refugees from Myanmar were Malaysia (114,200), Thailand (97,600) and India (18,800).