There are lots of different types of immigrants. Refugees are people forced to flee their country because of violence, war, or persecution. And unlike immigrants, they have well-founded fear of persecution for reasons including political opinion, nationality, race or religion. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, more than half of all refugees worldwide come from South Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan. So how are they different from asylum seekers and migrants? Here is a look at the different types of immigrants.
A refugee escapes his/her own country because of a risk of serious human rights violations there, and is forced to seek international protection.
An asylum-seeker is an individual who is seeking international protection abroad but has not been recognized as a refugee.
A migrant moves from country to country, usually to find work. Other reasons for moving include a desire to join family, a desire to earn a living wage or a need to flee from a natural disaster.
The people in these status groups have the same rights as all other human beings, plus special protections including:
•The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 14), which states that everybody has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution in other countries.
•The 1951 UN Refugee Convention, which protects refugees from being returned to countries where they are at risk of being persecuted.
•The 1990 Migrant Workers Convention, which protects migrants and their families.
Amnesty International has championed the human rights of refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants for many years. They work to ensure that governments honor their responsibility to protect their rights and condemn policies and practices that undermine them.
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