refugees in 2017
|c. 25.4 million|
(19.9 million under unhcr's mandate and 5.4 million under unrwa's mandate; the total number of forcibly displaced persons is 68.5 million)
|regions with significant populations|
|sub-saharan africa||6.236 million|
|europe and north asia||6.088 million|
|south/east asia and oceania||4.153 million|
|west asia and north africa||2.653 million|
a refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person who has been forced to cross national boundaries and who cannot return home safely (for more detail see legal definition). such a person may be called an asylum seeker until granted refugee status by the contracting state or the unhcr if they formally make a claim for asylum.
the lead international agency coordinating refugee protection is the united nations office of the united nations high commissioner for refugees (unhcr). the united nations have a second office for refugees, the unrwa, which is solely responsible for supporting the large majority of palestinian refugees.