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Data in SocietyChallenging Statistics in an Age of Globalisation$
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Jeff Evans, Sally Ruane, and Humphrey Southall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447348214

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447348214.001.0001

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Counting the population in need of international protection globally

Counting the population in need of international protection globally

(p.91) 7 Counting the population in need of international protection globally
Data in Society

Brad K. Blitz

Alessio D’Angelo

Eleonore Kofman

Policy Press

Different international and regional agencies count the number of persons crossing borders and internally displaced within states worldwide. Boosted in particular by conflicts in the Middle East, the number of refugees has grown to 15.1 million in 2015 and people of concern to 63.5 million. States have also sought to reduce the number recognised as Convention refugees (as defined in 1951) and are seeking to reinterpret their obligations and introducing limitations on those to be protected. The quality of data used to advance UNHCR programmes varies from one category of protected person to another, thus raising important questions for the management and delivery of protection-related services. Moreover, data are not disaggregated by age and gender, and in spite of greater efforts at multilateral cooperation, these datasets do not cover the same populations as those produced by other agencies. This chapter reviews the coverage of people of concern in the UNHCR’s guidelines and identifies gaps in the datasets used by UN and multilateral agencies tasked with the protection of refugees, IDPs and other people of concern. It suggests that these datasets need to be broadened to include other categories of vulnerable individuals and groups and that further disaggregation is needed.

Keywords:   International agencies, refugees, data categories, protection services, gender

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