Introduction to Refugees

  • Kelly HebrankEmail author


As long as there have been wars, persecution, and political instability, there have been refugees. According to United Nations reports, at the end of 2010, there were over 43 million people in the world uprooted because of conflict or persecution. Within this population, refugees are defined as individuals who are outside of their country of nationality due to a well-founded fear of persecution. Refugee assistance now is very different from when it was first organized sixty years ago, when the mission was to aid European refugees from World War II. Today, refugees originate from countries throughout the world. The United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) helps resettle refugees and initially pursues voluntary repatriation or local integration. If these are not viable options, refugees are eligible for resettlement in a third country. The US welcomes up to 75,000 refugees every year and resettles more refugees than all other countries combined. This chapter reviews the demographic of refugees in the US and the resettlement process.


Refugees Asylum Conflict Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Resettlement Universal Declaration of Human Rights Geneva convention United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Bureau of Population Refugees and Migration (PRM) Resettlement Support Center (RSC) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) International Organization for Migration (IOM) Refugee admissions Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Reception and Placement Program (R&P) Refugee cash assistance Refugee medical assistance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IRIS—Integrated Refugee & Immigrant ServicesNew HavenUSA

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