FIVE COMMON MYTHS ABOUT REFUGEES

©Florence Owens Thompson

These 5 myths have largely shaped the thoughts and global conversations on refugee communities, including the children living as refugees.

Who is a refugee? Are refugees and migrants responsible for increased terrorism? How many children are living as refugees today?

The recently launched UNDP Human Development Report, Human Development For Everyone, tackles these questions as one of the biggest global challenges we're facing in our time.

The Myths and Truths are relatively simple:

Myth: Refugees are a European problem

Truth : Europe is home to only 6 percent of global refugees; 86 percent are in developing countries. The six richest nations host only 9 percent of refugees worldwide.

Myth: Refugees are not desperate — They are choosing to migrate
Truth : By definition refugees are people who flee across borders to escape violent conflict or persecution.

Myth: Most refugees are young, able-bodied men
Truth : Worldwide nearly 50 million children have migrated or been forcibly displaced. These children may be refugees, internally displaced persons or migrants.

Myth: Refugees and migrants bring terrorism
Truth : Over the past few years the deadliest terrorist attacks around the world have been perpetrated by citizens born in the targeted countries.

Myth: Developed countries are overcrowded and cannot take any more people
Truth : The size of the population in most developed countries is actually declining, and the demographic dividend in these countries is being exhausted. Migration can be crucial in addressing this issue.

 

But how we respond to these Myths and Truths, as global community, and how we respond to the children and adults living as refugees, will determine if we're truly achieving human development for everyone.

To know more, see the  Human Development Report 2016: Human Development for Everyone: UNDP