More than 35.3 million refugees worldwide are seeking safety. They are fleeing their countries from war, violence and persecution. Some have time to pack a bag of belongings. Others don't. They must leave everything behind acutely. The flight in search of safety is fraught with dangers. Unfortunately, by then their long journey is not over and a future full of uncertainties and challenges awaits them.
Unlike a migrant, the definition of a refugee is set forth in international law: the Refugee Convention (officially the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees). This convention is based on the principle of "non-refoulement," which means that a refugee may not be sent back if he or she flees a country because of a well-founded fear of persecution. Reasons for persecution can include race or nationality, religion, political opinion or belonging to a particular social group. Today, this convention has been ratified by more than 145 states (UNHCR).