What Are The Biggest Causes Of Refugee Crisis In The World?

Thousands of Syrian refugees live at the Akcakale Tent Camp in Urfa, Turkey.  Editorial credit: Tolga Sezgin / Shutterstock.com
Thousands of Syrian refugees live at the Akcakale Tent Camp in Urfa, Turkey. Editorial credit: Tolga Sezgin / Shutterstock.com

According to CARE International, approximately 24 people around the globe are forced to flee their homes every minute. That is, 34,000 people leave their property behind every day with the hope of finding a better and safer place to settle. Approximately 65 million people have been forced out of their homes into a foreign place or country where they are referred to as refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs). Therefore, the refugee crisis is the mass forceful displacement of people from their original homes due to factors such as persecution, human rights violation, conflict, violence, and the effects of climate change. Below are some of the major causes of refugee crisis in the world.

Climate Change

In recent times, climate change has been one of the major causes of the refugee crisis in the world. Although people displaced by the effect of climate change do not fit into the UN definition of refugees, they are often referred to as “climate refugees.” Approximately 25 million people can be referred to as climate refugees. The United Nations estimates that 200 million to 1 billion people are at risk of becoming climate refugees in the next 40 years due to the impact of climate change. Millions of people around the world live in places that are vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Frequent drought and floods threaten their livelihood, forcing them to abandon their homes and move to other places within the country or across the borders.


Throughout history, the refugee crisis has been a product of war. In 2015, the UN reported that war alongside prosecution was the main cause of the refugee crisis around the world. Africa and Asia have recorded the highest number of refugees as a result of wars. Today, millions of Syrians are fleeing their country because of civil war that has been on since 2011. Over 6.3 million Syrians have been displaced internally and another 5 million crossed the border in what is known as the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Civil wars in countries such as Liberia, Burundi, Sudan, Sierra Leon, and Guinea have displaced millions of people with Kenya hosting the largest number of refugees in Africa.


Persecution is among the major causes of the refugee crisis in the world. Persecution comes in different forms; racial, political, religious, and social persecution. Religious refugees are almost everywhere around the world; from the Muslims facing prosecution in Myanmar to Hindus in Pakistan and Christians in the Central African Republic. Political leaders and their supporters who have differed with the government of the day have also sought refuge in other countries for fear of persecution.

Human Rights Violation

In countries where there are outright violations of human rights, greed, and massive corruption, especially by those in authority, people have moved from their homes in masses in search of a better life in foreign countries. The people in power in a country with a corrupt government often accumulate wealth at the expense of others, grabbing property, and using their authority to murder the innocent. In such countries, qualified citizens often do not get employment because the leaders only employ their favorites. The poor are usually exploited as they are not able to fight for their rights. When people become tired of the situation, they abandon their homeland in search of countries with better living conditions.


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