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JUDITH KERR
AUTHOR, ILLUSTRATOR AND CREATOR OF 'MOG' AND 'THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA', FLED GERMANY TO THE UK IN
1936
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ALEK WEK
SUPERMODEL AND REFUGEE CAMPAIGNER, FLED CIVIL WAR IN SUDAN AND ARRIVED IN THE UK IN
1991
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GULWALI PASSARLAY
AUTHOR, TEDX SPEAKER AND STUDENT, FLED AFGHANISTAN AND HAS STUDIED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER SINCE
2013
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MICHAEL MARKS
CO-FOUNDER OF MARKS & SPENCER, FLED THE POGROMS IN POLAND IN
1882
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DAME STEPHANIE SHIRLEY
COMPUTER PIONEER AND PHILANTHROPIST, ARRIVED IN THE UK AS PART OF THE KINDERTRANSPORT IN
1939
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PROFESSOR WALTER HAYMAN
MATHEMATICIAN, FLED GERMANY AND HAS WORKED AT IMPERIAL COLLEGE LONDON SINCE
1956
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RITA ORA
SINGER AND ACTRESS, FLED THE WAR IN KOSOVO AND FOUND REFUGE IN THE UK IN
1991
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MELODY HOSSAINI
SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR AND SPEAKER, FLED IRAN AND GRADUATED FROM OXFORD BROOKES UNIVERSITY IN
2006
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FISH & CHIPS
BRITISH INSTITUTION: FRIED FISH BROUGHT TO THE UK BY JEWISH REFUGEES AND FIRST SOLD WITH CHIPS BY JOSEPH MALIN FROM
1860
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RAMI ANIS
SWIMMER, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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JAMES NYANG CHIENGJIEK
TRACK ATHLETE, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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YONAS KINDE
MARATHON RUNNER AND TAXI DRIVER, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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ANJELINA NADA LOHALITH
TRACK ATHLETE, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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PAULO AMOTUN LOKORO
TRACK ATHLETE, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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YOLANDE BUKASA MABIKA
JUDOKA, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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YUSRA MARDINI
SWIMMER AND STUDENT, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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POPOLE MISENGA
JUDOKA, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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YIECH PUR BIEL
TRACK ATHLETE, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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ROSE NATHIKE LOKONYEN
TRACK ATHLETE, COMPETED AS PART OF THE REFUGEE OLYMPIC TEAM AT THE RIO OLYMPICS
2016
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FREDDIE MERCURY
SINGER, SONGWRITER, PRODUCER AND LEAD VOCALIST OF QUEEN, FLED ZANZIBAR TO THE UK IN
1964

What is the ‘refugee crisis’?


The ‘refugee crisis’ is a term used to describe the increase in the numbers of people crossing international borders as a result of persecution, conflict, generalised violence and human rights violations. During the first half of 2015, UNHCR reported that at least 5 million people had been newly displaced.

Europe has seen a huge increase in the number of people entering in order to seek asylum. Most have crossed the Mediterranean Sea on boats, with over 1 million people entering Europe clandestinely by sea in 2015. Another route is by foot through Southeast Europe.

The vast majority of those crossing into Europe come from countries suffering from war, violence and human rights abuses, with between 76 per cent and 84 per cent coming from the 10 largest refugee producing countries. Over half are women and children .

The journey to Europe is extremely dangerous. Journeys are often organised by people smugglers, who charge large sums of money for places on overcrowded, unseaworthy boats. Over 7,000 people are estimated to have drowned making the journey to Europe by sea since 2013, and the number of deaths is growing at an ever accelerating rate. There have been 2,859 deaths in the first 6 months of 2016, with 880 in the last week of May alone.

The UK has seen large rises in the number of asylum claims received, but not at the same levels as other European countries. There were 41,563 asylum applications in the year up to March 2016, 30% higher than during the same period last year. While this is certainly a significant figure, it is not unprecedented. At its peak in 2002, the UK received 103,081 applications for asylum. Currently, the UK is only ninth out of the EU's member states in terms of the number of asylum applications received.

With the refugee crisis showing little sign of abating, all countries need to work together to uphold the rights of refugees. The UK commitment to resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees from camps is a start, but more could and should be done.