Every minute, eight people are forced to flee their home to escape war, persecution, or terror. That means every minute, eight people in the world lose their home and nearly everything they own, forever.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has helped millions find comparatively safe shelters since 1951, and these images help tell stories that are rarely seen or understood.
The U.N. can only help those who survive, and survival is not easy for those who flee. Thousands of refugees die leaving war-torn countries, like the estimated 10,000 deaths, over the years, of Africans crossing the open seas to get to Europe.
At the beginning of 2013, about 10.4 million refugees around the world were on UNHCR’s radar, and another 4.8 million refugees were registered at 60 Middle Eastern refugee camps that were set up in 1949 for displaced Palestinians.
Here are just some of the unforgettable images that help tell the tale.