An asylum seeker is a person looking for protection because they fear persecution, or they have experienced violence or human rights violations.

refugee is a person who asked for protection and was given refugee status. They may have been resettled in another country or be waiting for resettlement. Not every asylum seeker becomes a refugee, but every refugee starts out as an asylum seeker.

forced migrant is a person who is forced to leave or flees their home to go to new places – usually abroad – to seek opportunities or safer and better prospects. Migration can be voluntary or involuntary, but most of the time a combination of choices and constraints is involved.

A stateless person is someone who has been denied a nationality and lacks access to basic rights such as education, health care, employment and freedom of movement.

An internally displaced person (IDP) is someone who has been forced to flee their home but never crosses an international border.

Reference: Red Cross, https://www.redcross.org.au/; UNHCR https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/figures-at-a-glance.html

In P4R we use the term ‘refugee’ interchangeably with forced migrants, stateless or internally displaced peoples (IDPs), asylum seekers and refugees. While some of these labels are used to define political and legal status of mobilised populations, it is our intention to embrace these situations under the umbrella of P4R.

Because the refugees situation will further deteriorate if there is no framework and process that enables everyone to live humane lives.  As the recent hurricanes in middle America show, anyone can become a refugee.  Treating refugees well is a human rights issue.

Responses range from extended detention and/or denial of asylum (contravening Article 14 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights), to welcoming, accepting and adapting refugees to a new culture (as in Lebanon, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Kurdistan and Uganda, and to some extent Germany and Scandinavian countries).

Currently, 89 million people of the world’s population have been forcibly displaced from their homes. About 27 million are refugees who have had to flee their country, crossing borders and now living in camp settlements. 

There are 55 million people internally displaced globally due to conflict, climate impacts, economic instability and consequences of Covid-19, according to  the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC).

At the end of 2021, more than two thirds of all refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, most refugees come from just five countries.

Syrian Arab Republic6.8 million
Venezuela4.6 million
Afghanistan2.7 million
South Sudan2.4 million
Myanmar1.2 million

A camp can be rows of tents, shanties or prefab housing in deserts, forests, and degraded industrial sites to abandoned factories to simple housing in a newly established village. They vary in size from 100 residents in new camps in Greece to 700,000 in east Africa. In 2012 the average-sized camp housed around 11,400 people. The camps themselves are not fixed, and numbers are fluid.

Permaculture is a holistic framework for designing human settlements. It is modelled on the functioning of natural ecosystems, with a view to providing for all human needs through cooperative relationships in healthy ecosystems. It includes restoring damage to the land caused by human activity. It is based on three ethics of Earth Care, People Care and Fair Share. Go to Why Permaculture to learn more.

Permaculture is well-matched to meet the basic needs for food, energy, water, shelter and a refugee’s concerns are for self-determination and self-sufficiency.

Permaculture methods facilitate and empower people with practical and positive connections to the land. It introduces design principles and strategies which provide immediate solutions for short-term survival, while also being framed for ongoing land rehabilitation, and fostering social cooperation. Go to Permaculture and Refugees to learn more.

Adopt a vision of a camp as an eco-village and learn how this transition can be made. Learn and offer permaculture training, and make land available for developing refugee projects. Look at making the time in camps as purposeful as possible.

Visit, share, invite, find out what people need and link them to organisations, offer resources, or start support groups, build friendship.

An ecovillage is an intentional, rural or urban community that is consciously designed through locally owned, participatory processes in all four dimensions of sustainability (social, culture, ecology and economy) to regenerate their social and natural environments (Source: Global Ecovillage Network).

Go to our network page and check our global map to see where our partners are who are working with refugees and permaculture.

There are many ways you can stay in touch and get involved with P4R.

  • Like our Facebook page to stay informed about news and events from P4R and our partners.
  • Join our mailing list and receive the P4R newsletters.
  • If you are working with permaculture and refugees, contact us and join one of our regional networks.

We are always looking for people to work with us and our partners. All positions with P4R are currently remote, working with central and regional working groups. Some of our partners accept volunteers on-site. Please contact us if you would like more information.

Here you can find more details about volunteering with P4R!

Unfortunately, P4R does not have the finances to fund projects. We are constantly working on increasing our capacity so that we can directly support more projects on-the-ground.

If you have a new project idea, please write to us and we can work together to potentially seek funds, but this is not guaranteed.

We are happy to hear more about your project and support you within our capacity. Please contact us to connect directly with one of our team members.

We invite you to share your story with us. Please go to our Story Sharing page to learn more.

We also invite you to write to us about your project and/or event, and we will do our best to share about it through our various communications channels.

Please check our events page to see what courses are coming up in our network.