Tag Archives: Syrians

UNHCR recommends measures for strengthening security and refugee protection

Flag of United Nations Refugee AgencyUNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards to whom quoted text may be attributed on 18 December 2015, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva released guidance aimed at helping States deal with security concerns while maintaining vital standards of refugee protection.

2015 was a horrible year for millions of people who had to leave their own habitat, trying to find places where they could find some peace. The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide will far surpass a record 60 million this year.

With almost a million people having crossed the Mediterranean as refugees and migrants so far this year, and conflicts in Syria and elsewhere continuing to generate staggering levels of human suffering, 2015 is likely to exceed all previous records for global forced displacement, the UN Refugee Agency warned in a new report today.

The global refugee total, which a year ago was 19.5 million, had as of mid-2015 passed the 20 million threshold (20.2 million) for the first time since 1992. Asylum applications meanwhile were up 78 per cent (993,600) over the same period in 2014. And the numbers of internally displaced people jumped by around 2 million to an estimated 34 million.

The report by the United Nations refugee agency says one in every 122 humans today is someone who has been forced to flee their homes.

It notes that the figure includes 20.2 million refugees, the highest total since 1992.

The report says the numbers were mainly driven by the Syrian war, conflict in Ukraine and other protracted conflicts.

Persian Gulf states, which were not a party to the 1951 treaty, have not accepted refugees despite sharing a common language and geographic proximity in the Arabian Peninsula. Lebanon meanwhile hosts more refugees compared to its population size than any other country, with 209 refugees per 1000 inhabitants. And Ethiopia pays most in relation to the size of its economy with 469 refugees for every dollar of GDP (per capita, at PPP). Overall, the lion’s share of the global responsibility for hosting refugees continues to be carried by countries immediately bordering zones of conflict, many of them in the developing world. The United States (and Canada) has limited Syrian refugees to about 1500 since that country’s war broke out in 2011. However, the United States has provided more than $4 billion in humanitarian aid and almost one-third of the more than $574 million provided for the refugees. Reshaping the Middle East Exact numbers on population shifts are difficult to determine because of the chaos in both Syria and Iraq. While some four million Syrians have fled the country, another 6 to 7 million have been internally displaced.

“Forced displacement is now profoundly affecting our times. It touches the lives of millions of our fellow human beings both those forced to flee and those who provide them with shelter and protection,”

High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said.

“Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion and solidarity with people who have lost everything,”

he added.

Nearly 2.5 million asylum seekers have requests pending, with Germany, Russia and the United States receiving the highest numbers of the nearly one million new claims lodged in the first half of the year.

Currently, with growing polarization of political debate concerning refugees in some countries, the concern is that asylum-seekers and refugees could be victimized, and refugee protection which has saved the lives of millions of people since World War Two could be endangered.

Two important points to bear in mind here are that refugees are themselves fleeing persecution and violence, often including terrorist acts; and that the 1951 Refugee Convention explicitly excludes people who are combatants or who have committed serious crimes.

For us it is very difficult to know if between the refugees are also fighters or infiltrators. Lots of people are afraid that Muslim fundamentalists may also enter our regions that way. But this would be most likely. The conditions how the refugees enter our regions is so bad that the Muslim fundamentalists can use much better and more safely way to enter our countries.

With border controls, UNHCR understands the need of States to identify security concerns at the point of entry, for example through increased checks, including the use of biometrics such as fingerprints and iris scans. Its recommendations include practical guidance on ensuring that these and other measures are carried out properly and proportionately and subject to judicial control, and avoiding discrimination, for example based on nationality, race, ethnicity, or religion. Applications for asylum must be looked at individually.

With cases involving the exclusion of people for serious criminal or terrorist acts, the paper of the UNHCR recommends that a factual and legal assessment be done, if needed, by specialized exclusion units. Guidance is provided on this and related measures, including handling of extradition requests, and detention. It also notes that people providing funds to terrorist organizations could themselves be excluded from refugee status, depending on the individual circumstances.

Registration is a crucial part of the refugee protection process, and UNHCR believes that proper systems for this, plus identity and security screening are essential including in situations of large-scale refugee influxes. As refugees are people at risk of their lives, information-sharing between States has to be done in line with established principles and standards on data protection.

Resettlement and other forms of admission remain a key tool for providing refugees with safety and a solution to their plight. In light of today’s record number of forcibly displaced people globally some 60 million the paper makes the point that it is more crucial than ever that resettlement and other forms of admission remain viable and effective options for the international community in dealing with refugees.

Resettlement programmes are handled between UNHCR and receiving States, which in many cases invoke far tougher screening than for almost any other form of admission to a country. Nonetheless, and to assuage concerns, UNHCR’s recommendations include support for continuing security screening not least as effective resettlement programmes provide a regular and safe alternative to dangerous sea and other journeys that not only put refugee lives at risk, but also profit smugglers and make the jobs of border security forces even more difficult.

Arguably the biggest risk for any environment of insecurity is that of increasing xenophobia and vilification directed towards people fleeing violent conflicts. The paper calls on States to exert continued resolute leadership in de-dramatizing and de-politicizing the challenges associated with managing refugee flows.

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4.1 million Syrians having fled their homeland

In December already more than 1 million refugees entered Europe. Some 4.1 million Syrians have now fled their homeland, according to the United Nations, victims of more than four years of civil war in their homeland. This is the latest war to redistribute people from ravaged countries.

After the two world wars the United Nations responded with the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol which clarified the rights of refugees and the obligations of the 148 members that became party to one or both of these instruments.These obligations have greatly burdened these countries in the current Syrian refugee crisis.

According to the United Nations, those countries in Europe absorbing refugees include:

  • Turkey, which shares a border with Syria, has taken in almost half.
  • Lebanon has taken in over a million, increasing its population by 25 percent.
  • Jordan has taken in 629,000, with about 20 percent living in camps.
  • Iraq has taken in 249,000 despite attacks by ISIS, which has captured portions of the country.
  • Egypt has taken in 132,000. Billionaire Naguib Swiris has offered to buy an island from Greece or
    Italy as a new home for these refugees.

Besides the refugees entering these countries, Europe has received nearly 250,000 asylum requests, many of which will not be processed for several years.  The sheer number of migrants seeking refuge to Europe is so overwhelming and stretching the capacities of these countries that British lawmaker Nigel Farage of the Independence Party has labeled it a problem of  “biblical proportions.”

English: Israeli and Syrian flags

Israeli and Syrian flags (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Around half of Syria’s prewar population of 20 million has been forced from their homes.  A European Parliament resolution in March 2015 condemning attacks on Christians and other minorities said more than 700,000 of 1.1 million Syrian Christians were among those who fled the country. In Iraq, the pre-2003-war Christian population may have been as high as 1.4 million. Estimates today put it at fewer than 350,000.

In the past these situations were already foretold. The Book of books spoke about signs we should come to see. Today many of the signs spoken of should be clear for those who believe in the Only One true God.

The refugee crisis has followed years of unending battles among nations and within nations. Enemies change but the result is the same. Fear and uncertainty are now the norm. Governments in Europe and the U.S. ponder how commitments made long ago can be kept. They see no clear way out of the dilemma, and in many cases, put off inevitable crises with temporary fixes.

 

Read more about in “Today in Prophecy – Syrian Migrant Crisis

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Filed under Crimes & Atrocities, Headlines - News, History, Religious affairs, World affairs

Real progress leaves nobody behind

Real progress leaves nobody behind.

The Middle East is a hotbed. One big tangle where it is unclear who is the enemy and who the friend. Syrians live between a regime that stops at nothing and IS. When in this conflict,you have lost your house, belongings and loved-ones, you are left with no choice. The only option is to flee. To leave all misery and distress, destruction and death behind. Are we still surprised that Europe is a predictable refuge?

This commentary was written at the end of September. We were wondering if the worst was over. The refugee door was ajar then, but later it opened widely.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees is (too) much.
Every person who rejects refugees should remember that his/her (grand)parents used to flee to Holland and England in the past, in order to avoid the violence. Notwithstanding all the shortages then, they were given shelter. Should the European Union accept one million refugees, it would not yet make up 0.2 % – and this is correct – of the total population of Europe. The key question is whether we are prepared to offer a lasting and well organised form of integration? Because this is the cornerstone.

In essence it is about trust.
The distress of people, the chaos and the hopelessness appeal to the better side in ourselves. This is without doubt correct. But there is more. In the middle of this refugee story full of emotions , powerlessness and incompetence it is not unthinkable that a whole new perspective arises totally unexpected, that nobody could have foreseen or predicted , but as a result of which everybody gets better and stronger tomorrow.

Refugees not only challenge our solidarity.
For each welfare state it is at the same time a test for its degree of development. A country that considers itself ‘highly developed’ only proves itself  through its involvement in and decisiveness towards the weakest. They who can organise themselves and have welfare , have the moral duty to give shelter to refugees who unwillingly and unasked for, have been forced to leave their country in order to find safety and life.

Let us not leave anyone behind in our longing to progress.

BzN-Mov Without a Name-Logo_EN

 

 

 

 

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Preceding articles:

Israeli leaders delight in Europe’s cruelty toward refugees

Human tragedy need to be addressed at source

Poster: Please help the refugees

Dutch version / Nederlandse versie: Echte vooruitgang laat niemand achter

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Additional reading:

  1. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  2. Al Qaeda regaining foothold in Middle East bubonic plague for American elections
  3. Palestine, Israel, God’s people and democracy
  4. Holy land Christian exodus
  5. Victims and Seekers of Peace
  6. Continues Syrian conflict needing not only dialogue
  7. ISIL will find no safe haven
  8. Funding of ISIS
  9. Wrong choices made to get rid of Assad
  10. Fitting the bill in the North and in the East
  11. Europe and much-vaunted bastions of multiculturalism becoming No God Zones
  12. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  13. Disintegrating Syria whilst diplomatic talks and poker-play continues
  14. 2014 Politics all over the world
  15. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  16. If Europe fails on the question of refugees, then it won’t be the Europe we wished for
  17. Disintegrating Syria whilst diplomatic talks and poker-play continues
  18. Can We Pay The Price To Free Humanity?
  19. bORDER-Gastrofest
  20. The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties
  21. Consequences of Mass Immigration in Sweden
  22. See how you can use your skills, resources, and energy to help Syrians and other refugees in need
  23. He who beams never walks in the dark

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Filed under Movement Without a Name, Social affairs, World affairs