Note: For information on the 2015 Global Refugee Crisis, visit our special resource page.

Refugee: Any person who, owing to a to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, is outside the country of their nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themself of the protection of that country.

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs): Any person who is forced to flee their home but who remains within their country's borders.

Asylee: Any person who flees their own country and seeks sanctuary in another country, and who claims to be a refugee, but whose claim has not been definitively evaluated.

Annual Surveys

Migration Policy Institute's Data Hub 
A collection of interactive maps and data sets, updated with annual statistics as they become available. Contains facts such as where refugees and asylum seekers originate, the countries in which they reside, the annual asylum applications by country of destination, and more information.

UNHCR Global Trends 2013 
An annual survey of refugee-related statistics from around the world, presented in a graphics-rich report combining written accounts, tables, and charts with sections on ongoing refugee and humanitarian situations.

U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement State Programs Annual Overview 
A map-based overview of U.S. states and territories that receive funding from the ORR, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Information Resources

Center for Migration Studies of New York – Journal on Migration and Human Security
A peer-reviewed public policy journal with new articles monthly on migration topics, including refugee and asylee studies, such as a multi-part series aimed at providing a comprehensive overview of the U.S. refugee protection system.

International Rescue Committee – Acting, Fast & Slow 
A blog on humanitarian action and development from International Rescue Committee experts and invited guests. Inspired by psychologist Daniel Kahneman’s theory—Thinking, Fast and Slow—it aims to analyze the effectiveness of aid delivery work and explore the tensions between acting immediately to address pressing problems and acting slowly to build a base.

International Rescue Committee – Crisis Watch 
A tracking page for ongoing crises, providing brief summaries of the current situation and links to the latest information, as well as in-depth reports.

Human Rights Watch – Refugees 
News releases, reports, commentaries, and multimedia regarding refugees.

Migration Policy Institute – Refugee & Asylum Policy 
Research reports, policy briefs, commentary, and multimedia on refugee and asylum policy both in the United States and abroad. All resources are subcategorized into the following topics: Asylum Seekers and Refugees & Resettlement. Filters allow users to search by publication type, region, subtopic, and author.

Refugees International Field Reports 
Four-page briefs on urgent humanitarian situations around the world, focusing on the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the African Continent. Released monthly or bimonthly, the reports included policy recommendations and a review of the conditions on the ground based on recent visits.

U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants Resource Library 
Resources on topics such as mental and physical health; family strengthening and relationships; financial literacy; cultural orientation; victim assistance; LGBT; disabilities; and PTSD. Intended for refugees and immigrants, as well as for people who support them, including resources intended for employers, lawyers, advocates, and service providers.  

Welcoming Refugees – Reframing Refugees Messaging Toolkit 
A 32-page toolkit for individuals working in organizations that serve refugees and the communities in which they live and work. It aims to provide the tips and resources to assist service providers “reframe” refugees, shifting the focus from sympathy to their positive economic and cultural potential and contributions.


Center for Gender and Refugee Studies 
The Center for Gender and Refugee Studies provides legal expertise and training, policy development, research, and in-country fact-finding and use international human rights instruments to address the root causes of persecution and protect the human rights of women, children, LGBT, and other refugees. 

International Labour Organization 
The International Labour Organization collects labour statistics from 230 countries, areas, and territories, in multiple datasets on international migrant workers. Some of these statistics are based on countries’ estimates and projections and others are rooted in standardized collection processes. ILO data may be browsed electronically by country or subject (e.g., employment, sex, age).

International Organization for Migration 
The International Organization for Migration (alternately known as IOM and OIM) was established in the aftermath of World War II and seeks to promote understanding that migration benefits and migrants and the societies where they relocate. Their website includes a number of studies and reports published in English and other languages about human trafficking, migrant health and employment, displacement after natural disasters, and a number of other migration-related topics.

Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development 
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) makes recommendations to promote its partner countries’ (from North and South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region) economic and social development, so as to foster lasting peace. OECD’s International Migration Database includes the inflow of foreign populations of its member countries, and publically-available statistics concerning employment rates and places of birth. 

Platform for Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants 
The Platform for Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM) is an international organization that focuses on promoting the human rights of undocumented people in Europe, through reporting, advocacy, and awareness-raising. Their policy briefs, reports, and position papers on particular countries and vulnerable populations, such as detention and education access of undocumented youth and violence against undocumented women.

Refugee Council USA
RCUSA, as it's known, is a coalition of U.S.-based organizations working on refugee-related issues. It holds a wide variety of resources, particularly on resettlement, U.S. refugee policies and adminissions categories, and major ongoing humanitarian situations.

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs 
The United Nations’ Economic and Social Affairs publishes international demographic data on the age, gender, destination, and origin of migrants. Documents relating to UN General Assembly meetings on Population and Development are also available on the site.

Women's Refugee Commission 
The Women's Refugee Commission is a resource and advocacy organization that monitors the care and protection of refugee women and children. They focus on issues of concern to refugee and displaced women, children and adolescents, in part by providing opportunities for refugee women and youth to speak for themselves through briefings, testimony, and participation in field assessments and international conferences.

(Photos by Akbar Solo)