Friday, June 20, 2008

Iraq Still a Major Source of Refugees in 2007

By Jim Lobe

"WASHINGTON, Jun 19 (IPS) - Despite a marked reduction in violence due in part to more aggressive U.S. counter-insurgency efforts in 2007, Iraq was the biggest source of the world's newest refugees for the third year in a row, according to the latest annual report of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) released here Thursday......

Overall, nations with a per capita GDP of less than 2,000 dollars hosted almost two-thirds of all refugees.

"The mistreatment of refugees is not limited to poor countries or undemocratic regimes," the report notes. "Wealthy industrial nations utilise policies designed to limit the number of refugees that enter their territory, explaining that they have limited resources, that refugees are unable to integrate or that some other country had primary responsibility."

The report gave Europe a grade of "D" and the United States a grade of "F" for their practice of "refoulement", or returning refugees to places where their lives or freedoms could be threatened."

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