Physical insecurity of refugees and asylum-seekers

Other Names:
Military attacks on refugee camps and settlements
Inhumane refugee policy

Military attacks on camps or settlement areas for refugees and displaced persons take the form of raids by regular or paramilitary armed forces; random bombings; militarization of camps; forcible recruitment into regular and irregular armed forces; and savage killings or abductions, including women children and old persons. These attacks are aimed at people who have already once risked their lives to flee their original countries, and who are now completely unable to defend themselves. In addition, the attacks also endanger the lives of innocent citizens living near refugee camps.


The 4 May 1978, military attack on the Kassinga area in Southern Africa began what has been a series of vicious attacks on refugee camps. It has been recommended by the UNHCR that refugee camps be moved farther from the frontier so that further attacks can be avoided, a UNHCR presence should be in all refugee camps.


Serious attacks have occurred in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras; Angola, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Uganda; Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria; Indonesia, Malaysia, Kampuchea, Laos, and Viet Nam.

Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong Institutions
Problem Type:
D: Detailed problems
Date of last update
03.06.2019 – 23:09 CEST