21 Mar
  • By Rob

Refugees – Separating fact from fake news!

In recent times thanks to a certain man who now is the most powerful man in the free world, fake news is now discussed just as much as real news. More often than not this has something to do with refugees, immigrants or minority groups.

With this fake news phenomenon, I wanted to explore the real facts within the world of refugees and separate fact from fiction.

My first port of call is trying to better understand what a refugee is or is interpreted as;

  • What is a refugee?

According to the UN Refugee Convention, the definition of a refugee is someone who…‘owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country’

Syrian children try to stay warm near an open fire in front of their unheated tents in a refugee camp in the town of Harmanli, Bulgaria, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013. Thousands of Syrian and other refugees from the Middle East, Asia and Africa, who find enough courage to make a dangerous journey from their war-ravaged states, often end up in the crammed settlements in the Balkans, including Bulgaria, Greece or Serbia, after being caught on the borders of wealthy Western European nations for attempting to cross illegally. (AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)

(Syrian children try to stay warm near an open fire in a refugee camp in the town of Harmanli, Bulgaria)

Facts over Fake News

1 – There are over 60 million displaced people or refugees across the globe (PewResearch).

2 – It’s estimated that 50% of refugees are under the age of 18.

So you would presume that the rich western world would be helping out as best they can and certainly be doing more than poorer countries in the developing world. No, you would be wrong.

3 – So which countries help the most refugees?

86% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries according to the latest figures released.

4 –  The top 6 host countries for refugees according to refugeecouncil.org are:

1) Turkey 2) Pakistan 3) Lebanon 4) Iran 5) Ethiopia 6) Jordan

5 – Which countries in Europe have the most asylum seekers?

In the year 2016, Germany received the highest number of asylum application (665,000). Sweden was second (149,000) and Hungary third (131,000). Between them, these three countries received 63% of all of the asylum applications in Europe.

6 – So where are the refugees coming from?

Currently, 54% of the world’s refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

Did you know?

– That under international law, refugees are not allowed to be forced back to the countries they have fled.

– That nearly half of refugees entering the U.S. this year will be Muslim. The share of 2016’s refugees was Christian (44%) than Muslim (46%).

Syrian Refugee Crisis

Arguably the world’s most well-known refugee crisis comes from Syria. The Syria civil war, now in its sixth year has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced more than 11 million innocent people from their homes. In many cases, children caught up in this crisis have fared the worst, losing parents or friends to the violence, suffering physical and psychological trauma, or falling years behind in their school work many of which will never now catch up on.

Worldvision state that;

– 13.5 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance

– 4.9 million Syrians are refugees, and 6.1 million are displaced within Syria; half of those affected are children.

– Most Syrian refugees remain in the Middle East, in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt; slightly more than 10 percent of the refugees have fled to Europe.

– Peace negotiations continue despite a fraying ceasefire.


(Syrian child assisted by humanitarians)


As we speak not enough people are educated as to what refugees are, where they come from and what life is like for them. Hopefully, this short snapshot look at those issues has helped in some way to answering these questions.

Of course, there will always be a bad apple within whatever group of people you select be it white, black, Muslim, Christian or whatever the case may be. It is incorrect and unjust to think of all refugees in a bad light and a certain person in a famous ‘White House’ needs to realise this as soon as possible, it would be a similar case in point if everyone branded us Irish under an unfair stigma.

From the research I have undertaken these people need help and that is all they are asking for. They do not want to leave their homes, their own countries, they did not ask for the trouble they find themselves in and it is up to us to at least show these people some compassion because who knows we could find ourselves in trouble in the future and may need a refugee or an ex refugee to help us out.

Sources –