World Refugee Day 2022 - an ifa Dossier

More refugees than ever

Each year on 20 June, since 2001, the United Nations has commemorated the fate of people worldwide who are forced to flee their homes due to war, hunger, violence, oppression, and disasters. For the first time since the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) began to keep records on refugee numbers, more than 100 million people around the globe are forcibly displaced – making this year’s World Refugee Day even more important. 

Alarming figures in the UNHCR report

This staggeringly high figure - equivalent to more than one percent of the world's population - was announced by Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, in a press release on 23 May 2022. On 16 June, UNHCR has published its annual report on the situation of refugees around the world.

The war in Ukraine alone has left 14 million people displaced within the country and abroad. But the resurgence of violence in some long-standing conflicts or ongoing displacement also contribute to this historically high number: Ethiopia, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Nigeria, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are currently particularly affected.

Migration and Refugees on the ifa Blog

Give back childhood

For a long time, the Kurdish areas in the border region of Syria, Iraq and Turkey have been the target of attacks from different directions - after pushing back ISIS, Turkey in particular is now trying to expand its military influence in the region. Many refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) have found refuge in the city of Erbil. Trauma therapist and CCP alumna Sargul Naboureh looks after them.

"Anybody is a potential refugee"

Largely unnoticed by the debate on refugees in Western European countries, the East African country Uganda has been an important asylum country, receiving over 1.5 million refugees. Irene Dawa from the organization Community Empowerment for Peace and Development West Nile (CEPAD) explains in this interview how important the work on fundamental issues is in order to ensure peaceful coexistence.
Sablettes beach in Algiers. The pace of illegal migration has intensified, despite prison terms of six months for those arrested by the coastguard. Photograph: Zineb Bettayeb

'I live on crumbs': why older Algerians ...

Nouara is 65 but ready to join thousands of others who burn their ID and pay traffickers for a chance of a new life in Europe.
Europe, Elf Moondance © pixabay

Time to restore trust

"As Secretary General of the United Nations now, I never felt so clearly the need of a strong and united Europe." António Guterres appeals to Europe's special responsibility concerning climate change, demography, migration and the digital era.
Detail from the comic 'Temple of refuge'

TEMPLE OF REFUGE: ­'A Better World for ...

In 2016, Sartep Namiq fled from Iraqi Kurdistan to Berlin. In the comic 'Temple of Refuge', he processes his experiences as a refugee and in an emergency shelter. Doing so optimistically and without words.

Nicaragua: A journalist reports from exile

Those who stand up for freedom and human rights in some countries must expect persecution and flight. Zivik partner Peace Brigades International's Nicaragua project in Costa Rica reports on the human rights situation in Nicaragua, using the example of a journalist who continues to campaign for press freedom in his home country from exile. Gerall is not an isolated case; dozens of journalists have sought protection outside Nicaragua and are fighting censorship from exile.

Video with English or German subtitles

Kulturaustausch: Coming up for air after the war

by Bjeen Alhassan

Born in Qamishli, Syria, Bjeen Alhassan now lives in Germany. In her Facebook group “Learning with Bijin” she helps refugee women, earning her the German Integration Award. 

Read article

© picture alliance/dpa | Wolfgang Kumm

About the Magazine

Each issue of KULTURAUSTAUSCH magazine is dedicated to one topic and invites authors from all over the world to share their very own perspectives on it: How do people in Brazil deal with climate change? How do people in France talk about flight and home? Who is the voice of feminism in Ethiopia? Big international names will have their say, as will the experts of everyday life on the ground. KULTURAUSTAUSCH stands for diversity, internationality and close-up journalism. This makes it the magazine for international perspectives.


Focus Ukraine

The war in Europe is not only causing unspeakable pain and destruction, it is also tearing apart cultural networks that have been forged with great effort. This is why ifa is committed to continue the dialogue between German and Eastern European arists and to support Ukrainain artists that have fled their own country through various projects and initiatives.

Find out more

Ukrainian Hugs © Yana Rogatenyuk

Totally Glocally: Migration and climate change

Climate change is affecting people everywhere, just not with the same impact: The population of countries primarily responsible for chlimate change suffer significantly less from the effects of climate change than the people in the Global South. And the latter are already exposed to droughts, fires, floods and scarcity of water. It is estimated that up to 1.2 billion people will be forced to leave their homes by 2050 due to climate change.


In this discussion from the series "Totally Glocally", author and global strategic advisor Parag Khanna, environmental and human rights activist Kumi Naidoo (Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow at the Robert Bosch Academy), CrossCulture Programme alumna Fatema Tuz Johoora, who actively supports youth empowerment, and Olfa Jelassi, also an alumna of the ifa CrossCulture Programme (CCP) and an expert on gender, women's rights and climate change, will address this topic. Moderated by R. Andreas Kraemer, founder of the Ecologic Institute Berlin and director of the Oceano Azul Foundation.

More on "Totally Glocally"

ifa Publications on the topic of migration and refugees

Type of publication: Anthologies
Topic: Culture and Foreign Policy, Civil Society, Conflict Resolution, Europe
Europe: Closed Doors or Open Arms?
Culture and Migration
Author: Seyla Benhabib, Umberto Eco, Martin Eichtinger, Francis Fukuyama, Phoebe Griffith, Kai Hafez, Jochen Hippler, Mely Kiyak, Alban Lefranc, Heribert Prantl, Isabel Schäfer, Bassam Tibi, ...
Year of publication: 2015
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Type of publication: Studies and inputs
Topic: Culture and Foreign Policy, International Cultural Relations, Art
Art Education in a Migrant Society
Reflections on a Convention – 2011
Author: Soran Ahmed, Sidar Barut, Daniela Bystron, Paul Mecheril, Frauke Miera, Carmen Mörsch, Persefoni Myrtsou, Rubia Salgado, Lena Siebertz, Deniz Sözen, ...
Year of publication: 2012
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Type of publication: Studies and inputs
Topic: Culture and Foreign Policy, International Cultural Relations, Medien, Mediterranean
Migration von Subsahara-Afrika nach Europa
Motive, Informationsquellen und Wahrnehmung deutschen Engagements
Author: Anke Fiedler
Year of publication: 2017
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Type of publication: Studies and inputs
Topic: Culture and Foreign Policy, Europe
Migration, Integration und die Arbeit von Kulturinstituten
Author: Marcel Berlinghoff
Year of publication: 2014
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