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July 26, 1995

Health Care for Refugees and Survivors of Torture Is Becoming a Growth Industry, Experts Sadly Say

JAMA. 1995;274(4):288-290. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03530040012003

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MORE AND MORE physicians in the United States and abroad are having to treat people for the physical and psychological sequelae of human rights abuses.

The number of refugees around the world who have fled political or ethnic persecution has increased enormously during the past 10 years, says Robert P. DeVecchi, executive director of the International Rescue Committee, a New York City—based organization that helps resettle more than 12000 refugees a year. "An estimated 25 million men, women, and children have fled their homeland and have been granted temporary asylum in other countries," he says.

"At the same time, there is a new phenomenon that is equally great if not greater, the so-called internally displaced person—a person who is a refugee within his or her own country. This number, 26 to 28 million, is even more staggering. Altogether, more than 50 million people are now living in refugee situations, which

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