Tag Archives: UNHCR
17 May 2013
On 16 May 2013, legislation passed the Australian Senate to excise the entire Australian mainland from the migration zone. All asylum seekers who arrive anywhere in Australia by boat are now eligible to be sent to Nauru or Papua New Guinea for ‘regional processing’.
With the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees issuing scratching reports on the processing centers on Nauru and Papua New Guinea, there was a failed attempt by the Greens, an opposition party in the Australian Parliament, to strike down the legislation.
The Australian Government, which is dealing with an increasing number of boats arrivals, says the legislation is a deterrence measure. The idea was one of 25 recommendations that was put forward by an expert panel on asylum seekers and introduced to the Parliament by the Government last year.
Source: ABC News | Parliament excises mainland from migration zone
25 March 2013
The German Federal Ministry of the Interior has announced that it will receive some 5,000 refugees from Syria. The first refugees should arrive in Germany by June. According to the official statement, the German Ministry of Interior intends to promote a coordinated European response together with UNHCR to protect refugees from Syria. The Minister will meet the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres in April, when he will launch a resettlement appeal to the EU.
Source: Bundesministerium des Innern | Nachrichten | Flüchtlinge aus Syrien (in German only)
6 March 2013
The United Nations refugee agency, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that one million people have fled Syria, in particular to Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. Since 1 January 2013, the number has risen with more than 400.000.
International donors have pledged 1.5 billion Dollar for a UN response plan to help the displaced people, but only 25 per cent of this has been funded.
Source: Reuters | One million refugees have fled Syria: U.N.
Source: UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency | Number of Syrian refugees reaches 1 million mark
14 September 2012
A briefing paper from Human Rights Watch (HRW) entitled ‘Hidden Emergency – Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean’ argues that the EU needs to take urgent action to address the tragic deaths of thousands of boat migrants on its shores. According to UNHCR, an estimated 1500 migrants died in the Mediterranean in 2011 making it ‘the deadliest year on record’.
HRW recommends establishing a framework for cooperation in rescue at sea and standard operating procedures for shipmasters as well as amending the draft legislation creating EUROSUR – a surveillance system to monitor the Mediterranean and North Africa – in order to include the duty to assist migrants at sea. Furthermore, it is advised that resettlement programs for recognized refugees rescued at sea should be put in place.
Source: HRW | Hidden Emergency - Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean
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14 September 2012
The Swiss Refugee Council (OSAR) has called for an immediate halt of all returns of asylum seekers to Hungary. OSAR notes with concern the numerous reports by human rights organizations highlighting serious deficiencies in the Hungarian asylum and reception system. In particular, it is emphasized that asylum seekers returned to Hungary are systematically imprisoned, abused and are likely to be given tranquillizers while in prison, as reported by the most recent report published in April 2012 by UNHCR.
Switzerland returned 99 people in 2011 and 2012 (until end of July) to Hungary under the Dublin Regulation. According to OSAR, in view of the conditions for asylum seekers in Hungary, these returns may under certain circumstances violate the international obligation of non-refoulement (see Article 33 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees) as well as Swiss law on asylum.
Source: OSAR | Stop aux renvois en Hongrie