Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, December 13th, 2017

UN Official Warns of Various Threats to Global Asylum Environment

UN Official Warns of Various Threats to Global Asylum Environment

GENEVA - A high-ranking UN refugee official on Thursday warned of threats to global asylum environment, saying that violations of international refugee law, such as attacks by troops and families being driven back across borders are jeopardizing the safety of people fleeing for their lives.
In a key address to the UN Refugee Agency's annual Executive Committee meeting in Geneva, UN Assistant High Commissioner for Protection Volker Turk said such breaches are "wide-ranging and occur in all parts of the world".
"Terrified families have been deported in the middle of the night, often with the connivance of security agents from the countries of origin," he told an audience of representatives of 151 states that make up the Executive Committee.
"In particular, they have included killings of refugees by the military," he stressed.
According to him, some in power are disregarding the tradition that asylum is a humanitarian, non-political act, and some politicians have cast aside humanity in favor of short-term political gains, arguing that they were acting in defense of the liberty, security, and safety of their citizenry
"This is dangerous -- not just for the many refugees whose lives are affected as a result, but also for the citizens in whose defense governments purport to act," he said.
According to the UN official, another major worry is an increasing trend in deterrence measures by governments, which in some instances have become "deliberate policies of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment directed against the very people who were fleeing such circumstances in the first place". (Xinhua)