Glossary by UNHCR
[In Japan, it is believed that words have a soul, the “word’s soul”. They think that only by pronouncing words people have the power to change the world. Words deeply influence our conscience.] Water know the anwer – Masaru Emoto
Displaced person: Generic word used to refer to those people who leave their country because of wars, persecutions or natural disasters.
Asylum seeker: someone who left his country and who applies to another state for obtaining the refugee status. His/her application is evaluated by local authorities. Till a decision is taken, that person is called asylum seeker.
Refugee: a person who is forced to leave his/her own country because s/he risks being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion in his or her country of origin. Unlike migrants, a refugee has no choice: s/he can’t go back to his/her country because s/he’s afraid of being persecuted or because his/her life is in danger.
IDP: An Internally displaced person is someone who moves for the same reasons of a refugee but who doesn’t cross an international border, remaining in his/her own country. In other occasions, an IDP is also identified as someone who escapes from a natural disaster.
Migrant: generic word used to identify those people who left their own country to settle (temporary or permanently) in another country. This voluntary decision, which is often the result of poor living conditions, generally derives from economic reasons. This happens when someone goes to another country in search of a better life.
Irregular immigrant: a person who, for any reason, irregularly crosses a state border. They are often and improperly referred to as “illegals”. Because of the lack of valid travel documents, many people escaping from wars or persecutions illegally enter a country, where they after ask for protection.
Non-EU: a person who’s not a citizen of one of the 27 states that are part of European Union, for example a swiss person.
Beneficiary of subsidiary protection: those people who don’t have the requirement to be recognized as refugees, because they don’t fit with the definition given by the 1951 Refugee Convention, but who need protection: in fact, s/he would face a real risk of suffering serious harm if s/he returns to the country of origin because of wars, widespread violence or human right violation.
Beneficiary of humanitarian protection: Till 2008, in Italy and in other European countries, subsidiary protection was not considered and there was humanitarian protection, which gives less rights compared to subsidiary protection or refugee status.