Covid may have put much of the world into lockdown but conflict, persecution and human rights violations has led to a record number of refugees, the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) has said.
According the UNHCR’s 2020 Global Trends report, some two thirds of the world’s refugees came from just five countries; Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.
More than 82 million people had to flee their homes last year – a doubling in a decade.
Gillian Triggs, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection UNHCR said it was “astonishing” the numbers had continued to rise given the pandemic.
She told BBC World News: “We might have expected that people would be more confined but they haven’t been in practice…
“People are moving either in their own countries or across national boundaries as refugees primarily because of conflict, sometimes persecution, religious persecution, ethnic violence and conflict, but also increasingly environmental degradation.”