Inside Story

Global refugees: Is the world failing?

UN says the number of people forced from their homes by war and persecution is the highest on record.

A stark report from the UN refugee agency is painting a bleak picture of a “world at war”.

The number of people forced from their countries and their homes is the highest on record, and the UN is warning that the world is failing the victims of global violence and persecution.

Almost 60 million people were exiled by conflict last year, a rise of more than 8 million from 2013 and the highest ever increase in a single year.

It means one in every 122 people on the planet is a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum.

Speaking in Turkish city of Istanbul, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said: “One clearly gets the impression that the world is at war and indeed many areas of the world are today in a completely chaotic situation and the result is this staggering escalation of displacement, this staggering escalation of human suffering because each displaced person is a tragic story.”

So has the world become unwilling to help, or simply unable to deal with the scale of the crisis?

Presenter: Mike Hanna


Alexander Betts – director of the Refugee Study Centre at Oxford University

Sherif Elsayed Ali – head of refugee and migrants’ rights department at Amnesty International, and an author of Amnesty’s report: The global refugee crisis: a conspiracy of neglect