FIDH - WORLDWIDE MOVEMENT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
(New York, Paris) FIDH welcomes the unprecedented initiative by the United Nations General Assembly to hold a world summit on Refugees and Migrants on 19 September to discuss a “more humane and coordinated approach” to migration. It urges Heads of State and government to use this opportunity to take concrete actions to protect the rights of refugees and migrant persons.
Wars, daily persecutions, poverty, environmental factors push more and more people to flee their countries. Global forced migration is on the rise. In 2015, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), 65.3 million people were displaced because of conflict, persecution and human rights violations . It is 5.8 million more than in 2014. As of September 2016, it is estimated that 4.8 million people had fled the conflict in Syria.
In 2015, only about one million people sought protection in Europe. But so far, the European response to increased flows of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees has been completely inadequate at best, shameful most of the time. It included the construction of walls and fences, push-backs, denial of the right to asylum, systematic administrative detention, confiscation of valuables, xenophobia, stigmatisation and, in some cases, criminalisation. The EU and member States’ approach remains security centred and aimed at sealing off and militarize borders, with the help of the newly created European Border and Coast Guard which is set to replace the European Union Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the European Union, Frontex .