Fewer Refugees, But More Risks, UN Says

“The number of refugees worldwide is at a 25-year low, but a growing number of displaced people are suffering under tighter asylum restrictions and increased fears of terrorism, the UN Refugee Agency said Wednesday.

Fewer armed conflicts and large-scale repatriations to countries such as Afghanistan and Sierra Leone reduced the number of refugees to 9.2 million in 2004, compared with 18 million in 1992, according to the United Nations report “State of the World’s Refugees: Human Displacement in the New Millennium.”

But growing numbers of displaced people who fall outside the protections of the UN Refugee Convention — an estimated 175 million — are facing precarious futures amid increased security threats, growing intolerance and declines in donations, said Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.” [Full story]