Under international law, a refugee is a person who has been forced to flee their country due to a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group.

In 2019, the number of refugees under UNHCR’s mandate rose to 20.4 million. A further 5.6 million registered refugees are cared for in some 60 camps across the Middle East by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), which was set up in 1949 to care for displaced Palestinians.

At the end of 2019, there were approximately 98,000 refugees in Thailand comprising some 94,000 Myanmar refugees residing in nine temporary shelters on the Thai-Myanmar border and approximately 4,000 “urban” refugees of some 40 nationalities who live in Bangkok and the surrounding urban areas.

The protection of refugees has many aspects. These include safety from being returned to danger, access to fair and efficient asylum procedures, and measures to ensure that their basic human rights are respected while they secure a longer-term solution. UNHCR works around the clock to accomplish all of this, but we can’t do it alone.

Your support helps us to continue providing life-saving protection to millions.