Refugee Week 2020 – myth busting

by The Gateshead Housing Company & filed under News, Posts.

This week, 15-21 June, is Refugee Week 2020 – a UK-wide festival that recognises the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees. To celebrate, we are sharing some facts and figures about refugees living in Gateshead and across the UK.

The facts

Migrants, refugees and asylum seekers are not all the same thing.

RW logo ColourMigrant

A person who chooses to leave their country to live, work or study without being forced.


A person who has fled war, violence, conflict or persecution and has crossed an international border to find safety in another country.

Asylum seeker

A person waiting for a decision on their asylum claim.

Applicants are granted or refused permission to stay in the UK as a refugee (someone in fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion), or for Humanitarian Protection (someone fleeing a conflict zone for the simple reason that their lives are at risk if they get caught up in the violence).

These individuals can apply to settle in the UK after five years.

Those with no reason to stay do not qualify for asylum and are asked to leave the UK.

The figures

  • In 2018, the UK population was an estimated 66.4 million.
  • There are more than 68.5 million forcibly displaced people worldwide. About 85% of the world’s refugees live in developing countries, often in camps or in poor accommodation.
  • 50% of refugees across the world are children
  • Approximately 4 out of 5 refugees remain in the country to which they initially fled.
  • Over 6.7 million people have fled conflict in Syria, and 4.25 million are still without a permanent home inside the country.
  • More than 97 per cent of Syria’s refugees are hosted by Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey is the biggest refugee hosting country in the world, providing safety to 3.6 million Syrian refugees.
  • By the end of 2018 the UK had resettled 13,961 Syrian refugees.

This might surprise you…

Funding to support refugees in Gateshead is provided by Central Government.

The housing we provide for refugees is in areas where we have plenty of homes available.

Refugees have the same rights and access to services and must follow the same rules as any other UK resident.

Funding provided by Central Government has provided several posts in education, benefiting the whole community.

Integration is a key aspect of the resettlement programme.