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.