For the first time since the World War II era, the number of people forced from their homes worldwide has surged past 50 million, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday.
The annual Global Trends Report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), released Friday in Beirut, said 51.2 million had been forcibly displaced by the end of 2013, 6 million more than at the end of the previous year. The data are compiled from government, nongovernment partner organizations and the UNHCR’s own records.
"I left Belize when I was 12 or 13, just as all my friends were getting swept up into gangs. The gangs would get kids to do the dirty work, because they knew the kids wouldn’t go to jail. I actually have an old photograph of the group of friends I used to hang out with— there were seven us. After I came to America, they were all killed in the exact order that they were standing in that photograph."