Refugees’ Life Transitions from Displacement to Durable Resettlement

  • Marie-Antoinette Sossou


Refugees experience various life transitions as a result of armed conflicts and civil wars that lead to emergency displacement in their normal everyday lives. These transitions begin at the onset of a complex emergency and last until a durable solution is found for their safety.

Wars and armed conflicts are one of the main causes of forced migration leading to the creation of refugees and internally displaced persons. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), there were 59 major armed conflicts in 48 different locations since the post-cold war period.

In 2003, there were 19 major armed conflicts in 18 locations throughout the world, and only two were classified as inter-state conflicts – the war in Iraq and the long-standing conflict between India and Pakistan. Thus, the main type of armed conflict continues to be the intra-state conflict (SIPRI 2004). The causes of forced migration are a complex mixture of political factors, such as gross violations of human rights, economic and environmental disadvantages, and the humanitarian crisis of involuntary displacement of people, mostly civilians and vulnerable people such as women, children, and the elderly.

The UN Convention (1951) on the status of refugees and the New York Protocol (1967) on refugees see a refugee as someone fleeing persecution, torture or war, and is in need of asylum or protection. According to the UN Convention and the UN Protocol, a refugee is defined as someone “who owing to a well founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”


Armed Conflict Refugee Camp Refugee Population Local Integration Refugee Child 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marie-Antoinette Sossou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KentuckyLexingtonUSA

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