22 Nov 2017 13:56

Global migration hits unprecedented level of 250 mln, including over 22 mln refugees - UN

ST. PETERSBURG. Nov 22 (Interfax) - The scope of global migration keeps growing, and about 250 million migrants are currently on the move, UNHCR Representative in Russia Vladimir Tsurko said at a seminar on raising public awareness of migration in St. Petersburg on Wednesday.

"The world has a total of 250 million migrants, with most of them traveling at their own initiative to look for a job. The scope of migration is unprecedented, and it has never been so large before, with numbers that keep on growing," Tsurko said.

The United Nations keeps a wary eye on about 66 million people, including 22.5 million refugees and over 33 million internally displaced persons. Syria, where almost 5 million citizens are refugees and about 600,000 are internally displaced persons, constitutes the biggest problem, he said.

Refugees are mostly using CIS countries, including Russia, as transit routes. "As many as 91.5% of citizens of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Yemen, and 83.8% of citizens of Afghanistan travel farther," he said.