Status gives rights and specifies obligations

824 people from 13 countries recognised as refugees in Belarus

According to the International Evolutio Public Association for Scientific Research, Information and Educational Programmes, refugees from non-CIS states account for the greatest share, primarily from Afghanistan (528 people). They are joined by those from Georgia (134 — particularly those arriving from Abkhazia), Tajikistan (32), Azerbaijan (29), Ethiopia (23), Palestine (9), Iran (8) and India (2). Armenia, Iraq, Ruanda, Cameroon and Liberia each have one citizen staying as a refugee in Belarus.

National legislation on refugees is constantly being improved, with a new law ‘On the Granting of Refugee Status, Subsidiary and Temporary Protection to Foreign Citizens and Stateless Persons in the Republic of Belarus’ entering into force last year. This envisages subsidiary protection for foreign citizens in our country, with such protection already being rendered to three foreigners.

Worldwide, 10.4m people are registered as refugees, displaced because of conflict or persecution. Those displaced within their own country stand at 27m, with 15.6m receiving assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In 2009, just 250,000 refugees returned to their native homes: a quarter of the annual average figure over the last ten years. According to the UNHCR, forced displacement, statelessness and complex migration flow remain the greatest global challenges for the foreseeable future.

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