The difference between a refugee and an immigrant

Refugees and Responsibility – Featured Image 1

Welcome!

My topic for today is the difference between an immigrant and a refugee!

Who is the immigrant?

An immigrant is a person who migrates to another place within his country or outside the borders of the country in which he lives. Usually, the immigrant is talked about when he leaves his homeland without facing any risks, but rather, for example, to improve his living conditions.

Who is the refugee?

Legally, unlike an immigrant, a refugee is a person to whom the recommendations of the Geneva Asylum Convention apply. A refugee is someone who has been forced by reason of race, religion, nationality, political conviction or belonging to a social group to leave his country.

Have you seen any examples of people confusing the two? What might be the consequences of that?

Comments (20)

  • tom Tom @ Topical Talk
    22 Apr 2022

    A very important distinction to make, appreciative_pear!

  • British Council.jpg easygoing_flower | Kfarhatta Secondary Public School | Lebanon
    22 Apr 2022

    That's an amazing topic to talk about! People do confuse an immigrant to a refugee and vice versa. From my knowledge, an immigrant leaves their country holding an amount of money to start a new life, while a refugee leaves with the bare minimum: their family, clothes...Well, their definitions are different and thus they have different opportunities. The opportunities given for an immigrant may not be given to refugee. Plus, immigrants are a great contribution to the economy.

    1. British Council.jpg appreciative_pear | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
      easygoing_flower's comment 22 Apr 2022

      I completely agree with you. I would like to ask you a question, is it important to differentiate between refugees and immigrants?

      1. British Council.jpg easygoing_flower | Kfarhatta Secondary Public School | Lebanon
        appreciative_pear's comment 25 Apr 2022

        Well absolutely, it's all part of organizing their presence. Not differentiating between refugees and immigrants will cause a chaos related to what they have to do (duties) and their rights. Explaining further: Refugees are weaker than immigrants, they need shelter, aid and constant help. Immigrants on the other side, are in a better position. They are more independent and able to help themselves

    2. avatar.jpg Olga @ KPMG
      easygoing_flower's comment 22 Apr 2022

      You make an interesting point, easygoing_flower. Can you give an example of an opportunity that might be offered to an immigrant but not to a refugee, and the reasons that might happen?

      1. British Council.jpg easygoing_flower | Kfarhatta Secondary Public School | Lebanon
        Olga @ KPMG's comment 25 Apr 2022

        The speed of obtaining citizenship
        Immigrants come to a country with a capital or a certificates, so they are an absolute benefit to the economy. Lots of countries around the world are quick to give immigrants citizenship (eg. Turkey) unlike refugees, where it takes alot longer

  • British Council.jpg noble_dinosaur | Kfarhatta Secondary Public School | Lebanon
    22 Apr 2022

    As u have stated, there's a massive major difference between an Immigrant and Refugee. Personally I haven't seen anyone yet to mix up between the two. However if this happened, it could be devastating, as some tend to be racist with refugees however not immigrants, regarding their social & financial background, and that refugees are forced into moving so that their love and loyalty to their new country is not as immigrants that actually desire moving into the receiving country.

  • British Council.jpg rational_grape | Makini Academy | Kenya
    23 Apr 2022

    I have a question for you appreciative_pear, So, what is the difference between an asylee and a refugee?
    In my way of thinking they are almost the same because they all seek protection.

    1. British Council.jpg appreciative_pear | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
      rational_grape's comment 25 Apr 2022

      Okay!
      I think they are both the same thing. An asylum seeker is someone who applies (or is preparing to apply) for refugee status in another country in order to seek international protection, but the need for protection for these people has not yet been finalized. While not every asylum-seeker will ultimately be recognized as a refugee, an asylum-seeker may not be returned to his or her country of origin pending a final decision.
      A refugee is defined as a person who has been forced to flee his or her homeland to escape persecution or a serious threat to his life, freedom or physical integrity. This may be related to race, religion, nationality, political beliefs, membership in a particular social group, and situations of conflict, violence or disorder.

      1. tom Tom @ Topical Talk
        appreciative_pear's comment 25 Apr 2022

        Thank you for this, appreciative_pear. Amnesty International also have very good and clear definitions too: https://www.amnesty.org/en/what-we-do/refugees-asylum-seekers-and-migrants/

  • British Council.jpg aware_painting | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
    24 Apr 2022

    The conflation of the term "refugee" and "migrant" has serious consequences for the lives and safety of refugees. We all understand “migration” as the voluntary process by which people cross borders in search of better economic opportunities. But it is not the case for refugees who cannot safely return to their homeland and are entitled to special protection under international law.

    Confusing the terms “refugee” and “migrant” can divert attention from the legal protection refugees need, and may reduce public support for refugees and the issue of asylum at a time when more refugees need this protection than ever before. .

    We must treat all human beings with respect and dignity and ensure respect for the human rights of migrants, while at the same time providing an appropriate legal response to refugees and not diminishing the responsibilities of states towards them. For this reason, we must take the terms “refugees” and “migrants” separately, to identify the movements of refugees and not lose sight of the obligations towards them...

    1. British Council.jpg appreciative_pear | Shouka Prep Girls School | Occupied Palestinian Territory
      aware_painting's comment 25 Apr 2022

      Thank you for presenting the negative effects of confusing the concept of refugee and immigrant. I would like what is the importance of differentiating between them. I have a saying in life that everything has its pros and cons. Does the distinction between them have negative and positive effects?

  • British Council.jpg rational_grape | Makini Academy | Kenya
    25 Apr 2022

    I would like to build on your post by giving you the difference between a refugee, asylee, migrant, and internally displaced people. Refugees flee their country because of credible threats of persecution and because they're not protected by their country. In contrast, migrants may leave their country for any reason, such as employment, family reunification, or education. A migrant is under the protection of his or her own government, even when abroad, and may not return to their country of origin. While refugees are protected by international laws, migrants are subjected to the particular laws of the country they move to. Asylees are people who've applied for protection-refugee status-on arrival in a country besides their own. Internally displaced people (IDPs) are displaced by conflict, violence, or natural disasters within their own country.

  • British Council.jpg willing_imagination | Marka Prep. Girls School 2 | Jordan
    25 Apr 2022

    I strongly agree with you on this clarification, but I would like to ask you about this person who moved within his country and had to change his place of residence to improve his situation, can we say that he is a refugee? He left his home but willingly to get a better situation, so what's the difference between them?

  • British Council.jpg strong_bird | Marka Prep. Girls School 2 | Jordan
    26 Apr 2022

    I agree with you all, and I have a question: Does a refugee have characteristics that distinguish him from an immigrant?

    1. katie.jpg Katie @ Topical Talk
      strong_bird's comment 26 Apr 2022

      The answers to this are in the post, strong_bird. Could you try to answer it yourself by reading the information?

      1. British Council.jpg strong_bird | Marka Prep. Girls School 2 | Jordan
        Katie @ Topical Talk's comment 28 Apr 2022

        Yes I can
        Refugee: A person who left his town or homeland against his will for reasons of enmity, coercion or war
        As for the immigrant: the person who leaves his country of his own free will for reasons: study or work
        And the refugee: the state gives him his rights to the fullest, and the human rights guarantee him and give him guarantees like the original citizen
        An immigrant: a person to whom the state gives human rights, but not to the fullest extent as a refugee, but because he left his town of his own free will

      2. British Council.jpg strong_bird | Marka Prep. Girls School 2 | Jordan
        Katie @ Topical Talk's comment 29 Apr 2022

        A refugee has human rights and is treated like the country in which he has sought refuge, sometimes due to racism and prejudice due to his leaving his country against his will. They live in tents called their homes, and sometimes they are destroyed because of the weather, and thus their material and social life is ended, and this negatively affects his psychological and physical health. Logic says that the refugee and the immigrant are equal because the immigrant is also a person who left his country for reasons.

  • British Council.jpg trusting_pear | Shohour High Public School | Lebanon
    28 Apr 2022

    The nearest example for me is my aunt, because of the terrible economical catastrophe Lebanon is facing she fleed out with her family to Germany, in which they refuged. They're living in a hime (a tall building), with all other refugees from Syria, Palestine and other countries. However, they migrated to just enhance their financials and living.

  • British Council.jpg rational_grape | Makini Academy | Kenya
    05 Jun 2022

    This question goes to all of you. Is there a difference between Immigration and migration according to you? Do you also know the difference between an immigrant and a migrant?

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