How do immigrants and migrants differ

Current debate - Refugee or migrant? That is the difference

For a few weeks now, the debate about the UN migration pact has dominated the political agenda. When people leave their homeland, however, they are sometimes also called refugees. Which term is correct? It depends: There are a few differences between refugees and migrants.

Migrants are people who leave their home - it does not matter why and for how long they leave, and also whether they do so voluntarily or are forced to do so. For example, migrants leave because they hope to find a good job elsewhere.

refugees are also migrants. But they leave for certain reasons: They are fleeing violence, persecution for example because of their religion or wars like the one in Syria. They go to different countries. Also to Germany, where they first have to ask for protection, i.e. for asylum. They are then initially called asylum seekers. They are officially considered refugees here only if their request is accepted.

Also read: Welthungerhilfe warns of a new wave of migration

The different definitions also result in the fact that the United Nations concludes two agreements for a more regulated migration and refugee policy. The UN migration pact has already been signed and the next vote will deal with the UN refugee pact.

By RND / dpa / lf