1. Government by the few
    “The corporation is ruled by oligarchy.”
  2. A government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes.
    “A military oligarchy was established in the country.”
  3. A group exercising such control.
    “An oligarchy ruled the nation.”
  4. An organization under oligarchic control.
    “That country is an oligarchy.”


Oligarchy (from Greek ὀλιγαρχία (oligarkhía); from ὀλίγος (olígos), meaning ‘few’, and ἄρχω (arkho), meaning ‘to rule or to command’)[1][2][3] is a form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. These people might be distinguished by nobility, wealth, family ties, education or corporate, religious or military control. Such states are often controlled by families who typically pass their influence from one generation to the next, but inheritance is not a necessary condition for the application of this term.

Throughout history, oligarchies have often been tyrannical, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist. Aristotle pioneered the use of the term as a synonym for rule by the rich,[4] for which another term commonly used today is plutocracy.


Refugee or Migrant

Refugees are people who cannot return to their country of origin because of a well-founded fear of persecution, conflict, violence, or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order, and who, as a result, require international protection.

The tendency to conflate refugees and migrants, or to refer to refugees as a subcategory of migrants, can have serious consequences for the lives and safety of people fleeing persecution or conflict.

Without question, all people who move between countries deserve full respect for their human rights and human dignity. However, refugees are a specifically defined and protected group in international law, because the situation in their country of origin makes it impossible for them to go home. Calling them by another name can put their lives and safety in jeopardy.

The important distinction between refugees and migrants was acknowledged by the UN General Assembly in New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants.

Relevant UNHCR documents on terminology include: