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Since the earliest times, humanity has been on the move. Some people move in search of work or economic opportunities, to join family, or to study. Others move to escape conflict, persecution, terrorism, or human rights violations. Still others move in response to the adverse effects of climate change, natural disasters, or other environmental factors.
Today, more people than ever live in a country other than the one in which they were born. According to the IOM World Migration Report 2020, as of June 2019 the number of international migrants was estimated to be almost 272 million globally, 51 million more than in 2010. Nearly two thirds were labour migrants. International migrants comprised 3.5 per cent of the global population in 2019. This compared to 2.8 per cent in 2000 and 2.3 per cent in 1980.
While many individuals migrate out of choice, many others migrate out of necessity. According to UNHCR, the number of globally forcibly displaced people worldwide was 79.5 million at the end of 2019. Of these, 26 million were refugees (20.4 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, 5.6 million Palestine refugees under UNRWA’s mandate). 45.7 million people were internally displaced, 4.2 million were asylum-seekers, and 3.6 million were Venezuelans displaced abroad.