There is a need for a more humane approach to migration, as the rights of migrants are increasingly being violated, according to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, has stated that the rights of migrants are being disregarded and called for a more humane approach to migration. Recent developments, particularly in the USA, Great Britain, Italy and Greece are a cause for great concern, he said in Geneva on Wednesday.
The UN High Commissioner reminded the audience that human rights violations are not limited to a small number of states. Every state can do better on this issue, he said.
The situation is particularly bad in Sudan at present, where conditions prevail that are almost unspeakable, Türk continued.
In the country in northeastern Africa, a long-simmering power struggle has escalated between warring factions, leaving its civilians in a desperate situation. The conflict between the Sudanese Armed Forces and paramilitary group the Rapid Support Forces has led to the displacement of thousands of people.
A need for solidarity, humanity and respect
An increase in conflict will also impact migration flows, with more people fleeing violence and in need of protection. Arab News reported that in the first four weeks of the crisis, around 200,000 people fled Sudan with another 700,000 internally displaced.
The UN refugee agency UNHCR has estimated that 860,000 refugees and returnees -- mostly women and children -- could be forced to flee Sudan to Chad, South Sudan, Egypt, Ethiopia and the Central African Republic by October. These figures have also raised concerns among European policymakers of a new influx of migrants.
Türk emphasized the need for a humane approach to handling these migrants.
Laws are being created with the aim of deporting those seeking protection in an "unlawful, undignified and intolerable manner," Türk said. "We need solidarity to ensure that all unprotected people are treated with humanity and respect are treated."
Türk also noted that the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is significantly underfunded and understaffed. Ideally, the budget should be doubled to $800 million, Türk said.
UN Secretary General calls for protection of civilians
Türk's statement comes as the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls for the prioritization of the protection of civilians in conflict areas during a debate on civilian protection at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday.
“War is devastating lives around the world,” Guterres said. “We must intensify our efforts to prevent conflict, protect civilians, preserve peace and find political solutions to war.”
Last year, over 100 million people across the globe were classified as refugees, fleeing conflict, violence, human rights violations or persecution.
In his speech, the UN chief said that the "terrible truth is that the world is failing to live up to its commitments to protect civilians", which are enshrined in international humanitarian law.
With dpa and AFP