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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 United Nations’ High Commission on Refugees 2022 report, the number of people forcibly displaced by persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and events seriously disturbing public order grew by 21 per cent, standing at an estimated 108.4 million at the end of the year. More than 1 in 74 people worldwide remained forcibly displaced as a result. Typically, refugees have spent time – some as long as 25 years – in refugee camps in another country before receiving permission from the UNHCR and the receiving country to be resettled in a third country.

It is estimated that in Orange County there are over 1,900 refugees, with the largest number from Burma. A large number of refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and from Syria have also been relocated here. And most recently, many Afghani refugees have settled in Orange County.

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

RSC Volunteer Application

Interested in volunteering with the Refugee Support Center? Please complete the application form below, and a member of our staff will be in touch with you soon.