While the most desperate flee their homes and their countries, risking their lives on perilous journeys on land or by sea, to seek refuge and peace, the world has watched on.
And as some refugees tackle the backlash by some groups who see them as a threat or think they add strain on limited resources, they continue to face the challenges of settling in a new home and building a new life after losing possessions, property and worst of all, loved ones in war.
But refugees trying to rebuild their lives torn apart by war have been making their way to other countries for a very long time, and history has proven that they can make a huge difference to their new communities.
It’s no surprise then that some of the most famous people in the arts, science and technology, business and politics are the children of or were themselves refugees fleeing persecution, war and destruction to find a new home, and in their own way, change the world.
Here are four of these famous refugees.
As the author of the theory of special and general relativity, he is remembered as one of the greatest geniuses of the 20th Century. But did you know that he was also a refugee?
Einstein had travelled to the USA for a visit, but decided not to return to Germany after Hitler took over in 1933. With the rise of the Nazis and anti-Semitism, Einstein knew that he faced persecution, and possibly death, if he returned to Germany because he was Jewish.
And so, Einstein became a refugee in the USA where he worked tirelessly to create some of his most revolutionary theories.
2. Rita Ora
Rita Ora came to the UK when she was just a year old with her family on the last flight out of Pristina, Kosovo.
Ethnic Albanians like Rita Ora and her family faced prejudice and brutal repression in Kosovo and so chose to build a new life in London.
Rita is now one of the most successful British female artists, winning global awards and recognitions.
3. Melody Hossaini
Melody Hossaini, who is best known as a contestant on the 7th season of The Apprentice, fled Iran with her family when she was just 2 years old.
She lived in Sweden for 11 years and then moved to the UK aged 13.
Since then, she has gone on to found InspirEngage Ltd, with a presence in over 100 countries, specialising in skills training to support those looking for jobs and enterprise through skills bootcamps. Melody’s work has managed to reach over one million people.
4. Sigmund Freud
The founder of psychoanalysis who changed the way we understand personalities, fled to the UK to escape Nazi persecution.
Austrian-Jewish neurologist Sigmund Freud is considered one of the most significant thinkers and a genius in his own right. Today, Freud’s theories are used in psychoanalysis worldwide.
In 2013, Freud was also voted the refugee who has made the most significant contribution to British life.