Some Definitions

Boat gcb7b7144e 1920

How can we define following terms.

Interesting question, especially when we see that it often has different sociological meanings from what the dictionaries say.


Refugees are persons who are outside their country of origin for fear of persecution, conflict, general violence or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order and who, as a result, are in need of international protection.  The definition of refugee is found in the 1951 Convention and regional refugee instruments, as well as in the Statute of the UNHCR.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


Although there is no formal legal definition of an international migrant, most experts agree that an international migrant is someone who changes country of habitual residence, regardless of the reason for migration or legal status. In general, a distinction is made between short-term or temporary migration, which refers to movements lasting between three and 12 months, and long-term or permanent migration, which refers to a change of country of residence for the duration of one year or more

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.


The condition of a person who is sent or kept out of his own country, village, etc., usually for political reasons.


Cambridge English Dictionary

Remarkable is , 'new residents'often feel at home once they have their official documents. 

I myself am the daughter of a migrant from Algeria and a Belgian mother. When people ask me of what origin I am, I will always say half/half. But how does that make you feel? They often insist... I feel as myself. One doesn't go without the other. But what I do feel is that Belgium is my home and Algeria is my fatherland. I also think this is different for everyone, the upbringing certainly plays a big role in this. My conclusion is that reality depends on where we grow up and what our upbringing has been like. The terminologies used in the dictionary are in my opinion, created to define groups. However, it is necessary to leave this pigeonholing behind for the good of the new residents in a country.