Why Do Refugees Leave Their Countries?

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Refugees flee their home countries because they fear persecution based on their race, social group, religion, or political views. Additionally, some people leave their countries to escape civil war and natural disasters.

The United Nations estimates there are 21.3 million refugees throughout the world. Some countries are both a haven for refugees and a country refugees escape. Some Ethiopians fled the country due to drought, famine and other economic hardships while refugees from the Sudan fled to Ethiopia. Other refugees cannot or do not leave their country. Over four million Iraqi refugees have fled war since 2003, sometimes to other parts of the country, and they are referred to as internally displaced persons. The same is true in Colombia where conflict has driven as many as three million refugees to its capital, Bogota, seeking safety.