Where do refugees come from? Expand Refugees come from many places across the world. Sometimes the persecution they flee is well known and recognised, for example the war in Syria and Afghanistan. There is often a misunderstanding that refugees are only born of war and conflict. In reality, others, their plight is not so widely known, or the persecution they face is more personal – e.g. sexuality or gender. The reality is there are many reasons why a person may become a refugee.