Center for World Indigenous Studies
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FW Wars & Refugees

Published: July 12, 2015, Author: Rÿser Rudolph C.

The CWIS FW Refugees project continues to monitor changes in the number of forced Fourth World refugees resulting from wars, climate change, and corporate land confiscation. As a result of major, minor and local wars and conflicts in 32 countries more than 35 million Fourth World people have been forcibly relocated or forced by circumstances into refugee status. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees reports 60 million people living in refugee status, meaning they are under the UNHCR’s responsibility. The number of Fourth World peoples forced from their lands constitutes more than half of the UNHCR estimate and is very likely much higher as we intend to discover through our investigations.

A primary cause of refugee numbers in war–both major and minor–taking place in Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, Melanesia, and parts of the western hemisphere (see the map below).

Internal/External Wars and FW Refugees




















In the illustration, the larger the brown person, the larger the number of refugees. Some of the refugees we monitor are not counted by the UNHCR. A state must declare the existence of a population as refugees if they are to be counted and cared for under UNHCR authority. For strategic and political reasons many states do not make the refugee declaration resulting in uncounted numbers of internally and externally displaced peoples. Undercounting displaced peoples contributes to more conflicts since “secret” conflict simmer without formal international notice.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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