The Syrian Refugee Crisis

The desperate plight of people seeking safety in Europe continues

Where are they coming from?

More than half of all refugees worldwide in 2014 came from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia. Since the civil war in Syria began in 2011, more than 4 million Syrians have sought shelter in neighbouring countries and another 7.6 million have been forced from their homes but remain displaced within Syria.

An increase in attacks by President Bashar Al-Assad's forces and the growth of ISIS are fueling the movement, but people are partly fleeing now because it has become clear that the conflict is unlikely to be resolved any time soon. The same is true for other modern conflicts that have been dragging on – over half the world’s refugees have been in exile for more than five years.

Why won’t the world tackle the refugee crisis?

It is now the greatest movement of the uprooted that the world has ever known. Some 65 million people have been displaced from their homes, 21.3 million of them refugees for whom flight is virtually compulsory – involuntary victims of politics, war or natural catastrophe.

With just less than 1% of the world’s population homeless and seeking a better, safer life, a global crisis is under way, exacerbated by a lack of political cooperation – and several states, including the United Kingdom, are flouting international agreements designed to deal with the crisis.