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Why a refugee may flee their country and live in Northern Ireland

Updated: Nov 1, 2020

A refugee is someone who is forced to leave their home country without having a new place to live.

They may flee their own country and come to live in Northern Ireland for a variety of reasons, including:

The refugee was facing persecution in their country

  • Refugees may be part of a group of people who are discriminated against and persecuted because of their political or religious views. Their lives may be in danger. They may move to Northern Ireland to be safe.

Escaping war

  • It may not be safe for the refugee and their family to live in their home country because of conflict and/or human rights abuses. Their lives may be in danger. They want to live in a country, like Northern Ireland, where they can feel safe.

Escape natural disasters

  • Refugees may want to move as a result of natural disasters, where their homes have been destroyed by earthquakes, fires or flooding and they come to live in Northern Ireland where this is not an issue.


  • Economic/social inequalities might exist, where one group is more powerful than other minority groups and this leads to the minority group being disadvantaged. They have fewer opportunities in education and employment and may have limited access to resources such as health care. Refugees leave their country and move to Northern Ireland so that they can have a better standard of living.

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