Policy ForumInternational Politics

Tensions of refugee politics in Europe

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Science  02 Sep 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6303, pp. 994-995
DOI: 10.1126/science.aag1556

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Globally, there are at least 65 million displaced persons, made up of 41 million internally displaced persons (those fleeing violence and/or persecution within their state's borders), 21 million refugees (those fleeing persecution beyond those borders), and 3 million asylum seekers (1). Europe is not bearing the main brunt of the refugee crisis. Roughly 85% of the world's refugees today are in the global South, and half of them are in countries with a per capita Gross Domestic Product of less than U.S. $5000 (2). The continent is nonetheless in the center of a political and social storm from the roughly 1,255,600 people who applied for asylum in the European Union (EU) in 2015 (3).