What Is a Refugee, Anyway?
Definitions, Facts and Figures
65.6 million people around the world were displaced at the end of 2016 – around 300,000 more than a year earlier
Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18
There are 10 million stateless people who have been denied a nationality and access to basic rights (education, healthcare, employment and freedom of movement)
Nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute as a result of conflict or persecution
Source: UNHCR Global Trends report, published June 2017
Where Have China's Refugees Come From?
Indochina: (Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand Laos, Cambodia): 300,895
Altogether, there are 301,622 refugees in China.
*Source: Data provided by UNHCR Beijing office, as of 31 December 2015
Someone fleeing armed conflict or persecution across an international border because it is too dangerous to stay home.
Someone who chooses to move, not because of a direct threat of persecution or death; unlike refugees, if migrants choose to return home, they will continue to receive the protection of their government.
Someone who has left his or her country of origin and formally applied for asylum in another country.
Internally Displaced Person (IDP)
Someone who is forced to flee his or her home but who remains within his or her country’s borders.
Someone who is not a national of any country.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, otherwise known as the UN Refugee Agency; a UN program mandated to protect and support refugees at the request of a government or the UN itself; assists in refugees’ voluntary repatriation, local integration or resettlement to a third country.
The 1951 Refugee Convention
A UN treaty that defines who is a refugee and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum
The 1967 Protocol
An enactment that broadens the 1951 Convention by removing its geographical and time limits.
What Are Chinese People's Attitudes Towards Refugees?
said they’d welcome refugees into the country
said they would personally accept a refugee into their home
agreed that the government should do more to help refugees fleeing war and prosecution (ranking first among countries surveyed)
agreed that people should be able to take refuge in other countries to escape war or persecution
China and Refugees
260,000 Indochinese refugees settle in China, the last time that the Chinese government accepted such a large number of refugees
UNHCR establishes Beijing office in response to Vietnamese refugee crisis
China provides resettlement opportunities for 2,500 Lao and Cambodian refugees from camps in Thailand
China becomes party to the UN’s 1951 Refugee Convention and 1967 Protocol
Tens of thousands of refugees flee from Myanmar over the Chinese border due to conflict between ethnic-minority militias and government troops
China enacts its 2012 Exit-Entry Administration Law. It replaces two former exit-and-entry laws and includes provisions that the country may grant asylum to foreigners who request it for political reasons
China’s new Exit-Entry Law comes into force, allowing refugees to stay in China after obtaining an ID card from public security authorities; asylum seekers are also allowed to use a temporary card to stay while their refugee status is under examination
Letter of Intent signed with the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs regarding disaster reduction, preparedness and emergency response aims to guard against internal displacement
The Chinese Government offers food and medical supplies to an estimated 50,000 Kokang civilians pouring into Southwest China after fighting erupts between the Myanmese Army and Kokang rebels