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UN rights official calls refugee protection 'obligation'

[JURIST] A UN human rights official warned Wednesday that the UN High Commission for Refugees was facing increasingly difficult conditions that prevented it from protecting millions of threatened refugees [JURIST news archive], but that protection of those people remained an obligation. UNHCR Director of International Protection Erika Feller addressed [transcript] representatives from the 68 countries on the agency's executive committee [official website] meeting in Geneva and warned of increasing human rights abuses and violence, as well as decreasing cooperation from countries traditionally supportive of human rights. Feller said conflicts in Western Tanzania, Darfur [JURIST news archive] and Colombia [JURIST news archive] had all harmed protection of refugees in those areas. Feller said, however, that the past year has also brought a high rate of return for displaced persons. The UNHCR has a news release on the address.

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