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Information About Refugees

What is a refugee?

In 1951 the United Nations defined a refugee as someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion, is outside his/her country of nationality, and is unable to, owing to such fear, return to his/her native country.”

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 1 in 100 people worldwide are now displaced from their homes. Typically, refugees have spent time – some as long as 25 years – in refugee camps in another country before receiving permission from the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) and the receiving country to be resettled in a third country.

It is estimated that in Orange County there are over 1,200 refugees, almost all from Burma. Therefore, most links below pertain to ethnicities from that country. A small number of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and from Syria have also been relocated here.

About Refugees from Burma

Cultural Orientation Resource Center

Links to videos and articles in PDF form.

Free Burma Rangers

Free Burma Rangers is a multi-ethnic humanitarian service movement.

The Border Consortium

A non-profit working with displaced and conflict-affected people of Burma/Myanmar.

Karen Women Organisation

Information about the background of Karen ethnic group.

Chin Human Rights Organization

A non-governmental non-profit organization based in Canada.

Arakan Rohingya National Organisation

ARNO is one of the representative organizations of the Rohingya people of Arakan, Burma.

Karen News

Videos, photos, and text.

About Refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

European Resettlement Network

Article by International Catholic Migration Commission.

DRC Refugees Flee to Uganda

Video by CGTN Africa.

About Congolese Refugees

Facts and figures on Congolese refugees in NC

About Refugees from Syria

Cultural Orientation Center

PDF article providing comprehensive information.

Syria Emergency

UNHCR page with links to many articles and videos.

Crisis in Syria: The Refugees

CNN page with links to written articles and videos.

How it Feels to be a Syrian Refugee in America

From Buzzfeed video, one family’s story.

Syrian Refugees in the United States

Facts and figures on Syrian refugees in the US